The Supreme Court has rejected the plea by a number of teachers training institutions in Maharashtra to recognise the admissions given to their students, saying that the institutes misrepresented facts about their recognition by the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE).
The court directed these institutions to pay Rs.1 lakh each to their students as ‘compensation’ for admitting them in D.Ed courses.
The institutions were also ordered to pay Rs.2 lakh as costs, which is to be deposited with the Maharashtra State Legal Service Authority.
An apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice K.S.Panickar Radhakrishnan, in their May 12 judgment, which has only now been made available, held that the ooperations of these institutions was in the pursuit of doing ‘business’ and earning profits.
The court said it could not confer legitimacy to admissions made by them in a clandestine manner by manipulating the judicial process.
Justice Singhvi said ‘the students who may have taken admission and completed the course from an institution, which had not been granted recognition will not be able to impart value-based education to the future generation of the country.’
The institutions, which were not recognised by the Western Regional Committee (WRC) of the NCTE, misrepresented facts and secured an interim order of the apex court which directed the state to admit students.
The training institutions had approached the apex court against the orders of the Bombay High Court (Nagpur bench) cancelling the admissions in 290 institutions in 2008.
Rejecting the plea that the statement in their petition about the grant of recognition by the NCTE was not ‘deliberate’ and was a ‘lapse’ which ‘inadvertently occurred at the time of drafting the petition’, the judgment said the institutions ‘deserved to be non-suited because they have not approached the court with clean hands’.
Noting that they consciously made a statement about recognition, the judgment said: ‘The minimum that can be said about the appellants (institutions) is that they have not approached the court with clean hands and succeeded in polluting the stream of justice by making patently false statements. Therefore, they are not entitled to relief under Article 136 of the constitution.’
The court said that none of the students who were admitted were eligible for degrees by the affiliating body and if some certificates had been granted, ‘the same shall not be treated valid for any purpose whatsoever’.
The court the WRC in Bhopal to forward the list of students who were admitted on the strength of the interim order of the apex court to the education department of Maharsahtra which, in turn, would forward it to all departments so that none of these students could get jobs on the basis of these degrees.