Delhi High Court
Hc dismissed appeal against the order of Learned Judge made on the question which upheld the recommendation of the WRC for withdrawal of recognition
INDORE MAHAVIDYALAYA Versus NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TEACHERS EDUCATION
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Date of decision: 06.06.2011
INDORE MAHAVIDYALAYA ..... Appellant
Through : Sh. V.V. Gautam, Ms. Ranchi Daga and Sh. Prabhod Shukla, Advocates.
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TEACHERS EDUCATION ..... Respondents
Through : Sh. Amitesh Kumar, Advocate.
MR. JUSTICE S. RAVINDRA BHAT
MR. JUSTICE RAJIV SHAKDHER
1. Whether the Reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgment? Yes
2. To be referred to Reporter or not? Yes
3. Whether the judgment should be reported in the Digest? Yes
MR. JUSTICE S.RAVINDRA BHAT (OPEN COURT)
LPA 538/2011 & C.M. APPL. 11529/2011(for exemption)
1. The present appeal is directed against an order of the learned Single Judge dated 25.05.2011. The writ petitioner had challenged an order of the Appellate Committee of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), which had upheld the recommendation of the Western Regional Committee, for withdrawal of recognition of the petitioner institute.
2. Learned Single Judge noticed that the genesis of the litigation was from a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), i.e. W.P. 6146/2008 before the Jabalpur Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court where the controversy was with regard to alleged violation of provisions of law by the institutes/colleges granted recognition, and violation under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993. That writ petition was disposed of. Subsequently, the petitioner was issued with some notice on 28.12.2009 under Section 17 of the NCTE Act, which was impugned before the same High Court in W.P. 1052/2010. A Bench of the High Court disposed of that petition on 03.02.2010, granting opportunity to the petitioner to file reply and contest the Show Cause Notice on merits. The NCTE proceeded to pass a speaking order on 26.02.2010, directing withdrawal of recognition, earlier granted to the petitioner. The petitioner impugned the order before the Appellate Committee, which dismissed the appeal on 27.08.2010, remitting the matter to the Regional Committee, for fresh consideration. That order was also challenged by the Appellant before the Madhya Pradesh High Court through W.P. 11344/2010. The High Court, on 26.10.2010 set-aside the Appellate Committee’s order, remitting the matter, and directed the NCTE to consider the appeal afresh. The petitioner preferred a third Writ Petition being 11527/2010 before the Madhya Pradesh High Court, for directions, which too was again in respect of an appeal which was disposed of by the High Court with certain directions to continue to display the petitioner’s name in the list of recognized institutes. Eventually, the Appellate Committee, by its order dated 13.12.2010, dismissed the petitioner’s appeal, which was said to be challenged before the learned Single Judge of this Court in W.P. 3563/2011, filed on 19.05.2011. After noticing the conspectus of facts narrated above, learned Single Judge declined to exercise jurisdiction, stating as follows:
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8. Undeniably, the office of the respondent is situated within the territorial jurisdiction of this High Court and also the fact that the writ petition against the order of appeal passed by the respondent can be entertained by this Court, yet considering the fact that the High Court of Madhya Pradesh was seized with the entire subject matter and time and again various directions were given by the Madhya Pradesh High Court including when even a challenge was made by the petitioner against the order passed by the same Appeal Committee, therefore, this Court deems it appropriate to decline exercising its discretionary jurisdiction in the present matter and relegate the petitioner to invoke the jurisdiction of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh.
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3. Learned counsel urged that the approach of the learned Single Judge was incorrect and that this Court should have entertained the writ petition since the Appellate Committee’s order squarely falls within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court and that the NCTE and the institutions set-up under it, including the Appellate Committee, being statutory, are Tribunals, which fall within the judicial review control of this Court, to attract Article 226 jurisdiction.
4. It was also submitted that the records of the Appellate Committee are in Delhi and since the office of the NCTE is also located at New Delhi, the Court would be within its rights to entertain and grant appropriate relief. Learned counsel also urged to make submissions on the petition.
5. We have carefully considered the averments. While the learned Single Judge noticed that the office of the respondent falls within the territorial jurisdiction of this Court, yet he declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that on three previous occasions – including when the grievance arose vis-à-vis a previous order of the Appellate Committee, the writ petitioner approached the most convenient forum, i.e. the Madhya Pradesh High Court, it was not appropriate to entertain this writ petition in Delhi.
6. We agree with the learned Single Judge’s approach. Apart from the fact that the exercise of jurisdiction in such cases is not compulsive, discretion is also exercised having regard to the fact-circumstance in each case. In the present case, the learned Single Judge clearly adopted the forum inconvenien approach in declining to exercise jurisdiction (Ref. Kusum Ingots & Alloys v.Union of India 2004 (6) SCC 254).
7. We do not find any infirmity with that approach. The appeal is unmerited. The appeal and pending application are accordingly dismissed.
S. RAVINDRA BHAT
JUNE 06, 2011