High Court: Punjab has no jurisdiction over discontinuing academic course

High Court: Punjab has no jurisdiction over discontinuing academic course

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that the state has no jurisdiction in discontinuance of an academic course. The Bench also made it clear that Punjabi University’s directions to an institute to seek the approval of DPI (Colleges) for discontinuation of a course were illegal and unsustainable in law.

The ruling by Justice Sudhir Mittal came on a petition by the governing body of the Akal Degree College for Women, Sangrur, against the state of Punjab and other respondents. The Bench was told the petitioner established the Akal Degree College for Women in Sangrur. A communication dated February 20 last year was addressed to the Punjabi University Vice Chancellor requesting for permission to discontinue with the Bachelor of Arts course from academic session 2020-21 following reduction in student strength and resultant financial stress. A letter was sent to the college principal on May 27 last year that approval of the DPI (Colleges) for discontinuation was necessary as it was an aided course. The DPI (Colleges), in turn, directed the petitioner not to discontinue admission for the course for academic session 2020-21 till a decision was taken.

Justice Mittal added the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service of Employees) Act, 1974, was framed to provide security of service to the employees of affiliated colleges and to grant pensionary benefits to employees appointed against the aided posts. But the Act’s provisions did not entitle the government to interfere in the matter of discontinuance of a course. Justice Mittal directed the university to take a decision on the petitioner’s request expeditiously and not later than four weeks.

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