High Court: Punjab has no jurisdiction to interrupt university course: The Tribune India

Saurabh Malik

Tribune press service

Chandigarh, July 30

The High Court of Punjab and Haryana made it clear that the state has no jurisdiction to interrupt a university course. The judiciary also made it clear that Punjabi University’s instructions to an institute to seek approval from DPI (colleges) for discontinuing a course were illegal and unsustainable in law.

Judge Sudhir Mittal’s ruling follows a petition by the governing body of the Akal Degree College for Women, Sangrur, against the state of Punjab and other respondents. The judiciary was informed that the petitioner had established the Akal Degree College for Women in Sangrur. A communication dated February 20 of last year was sent to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Punjabi requesting permission to discontinue the Bachelor of Arts course in the 2020-21 academic session following a reduction in student strength and the resulting financial stress. A letter was sent to the college principal on May 27 last year, stating that DPI (colleges) approval for the shutdown was required as it was an attended course. The DPI (colleges), in turn, ordered the petitioner not to interrupt course admission for the 2020-21 academic session until a decision is made.

Justice Mittal added that the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service of Employees) Act, 1974, was designed to provide security of service to employees of affiliated colleges and to provide retirement benefits to employees appointed to assisted positions. But the provisions of the law did not allow the government to interfere in the issue of discontinuing a course. Judge Mittal ordered the university to make a decision on the petitioner’s request as soon as possible and no later than four weeks.

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