‘Suo moto’ action against UGC


After quashing of Himachal Pradesh Regularity Commission, Himahcal Pradesh high court yesterday initiated ‘suo moto’ action against University Grant Commission (UGC) on the issue of unconcerned attitude of the UGC enforcing the regulations pertaining to establishment and operations of private universities.

Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Kuldeep Singh on a PIL taken up ‘suo moto’ by the court on the issue of unconcerned attitude of the UGC in enforcing the regulations pertaining to establishment and operation of private universities.

From the news item, as has appeared in press on October 25, 2013, it transpired that the UGC is abdicating its authority bordering on non-performance and disregarding the violations committed by the private universities, which is polluting the environment of quality education to be imparted by the universities.

“As per the constitutional scheme, the primary duty of maintaining standards of education and of coordination of higher education is that of University Grants Commission”, court observed in the order.

“We accordingly deem it appropriate to issue notice, in public interest, to the University Grants Commission to file response to the factual matters stated in the subject news item”, Division Bench said.

The court held that Mr. Sandeep Sharma, Assistant Solicitor General of India, waives service of notice for University Grants Commission.

“We are also issuing notice to the state of Himachal Pradesh through the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary (Education), respectively as well as to 16 private universities in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Mr. J.K. Verma, Deputy Advocate General, waives service of notice for the respondents-state”, order said.

Seeking to return the reply of notice made by the court on Nov 13, 2013 it issued notices to  respective authorities.

Since this being Public Interest Litigation and initiated ‘suo-moto’ by the court, we deemed it appropriate to request Mr. Dilip Sharma, senior advocate, instructed by Ms. Nishi Goel, advocate, to appear as Amicus-Curiae to assist the court.

In a landmark judgment here today Himachal Pradesh High Court quashed the HP Regulatory commission act after finding it against the spirit of constitutions and intrusion into the union lists of subjects this bill was brought by last BJP rule to keep tabs on mushrooming up of private universities.

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