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SC relief for deemed varsities
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 25
In a major relief to nearly two lakh college students, the Supreme Court today restrained the government from derecognising 44 Deemed Universities by ordering status quo.

A Bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and AK Patnaik also made it clear that it would decide the case only after hearing all the 44 institutions, facing derecognition for allegedly being run by families without meeting norms meant for maintenance of educational standards.

The court issued notice to all such institutions, observing that the interest of the students would weigh its decision.

The court ordered status quo despite Attorney General GE Vahanvatiís assurance that the government would not go ahead with derecognising them without the courtís permission, though the Task Force and the Review Committee had submitted adverse reports against them.

Senior counsel appearing for the affected Deemed Universities contended that derecognising them on the basis of committee reports would be illegal as they got the status on the recommendations of the University Grants Commission, a statutory body.

The AG said the government would relocate the students affected by the proposed derecognition, but the lawyers for the Universities said this situation would arise only if the court approved of the move for stripping them off the deemed status.

Many of the institutions argued that they got the status after repeated visits by UGC authorities had confirmed that they had adequate infrastructure facilities for carrying out research work, a pre-requisite for the purpose.

The AG said he would submit to the court within two weeks the Task Force report and the procedure that would be followed for taking action against the Deemed Universities that did not meet the set standard and norms. The case would come up for next hearing on March 8.

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