State has a ‘limited’ role in grant of recognition to institutions under NCTE Act, 1993

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Supreme Court: The Court held that the State Government has a ‘limited’ say in the matter of grant of recognition to the institutions who apply for establishing institutions to get recognition from the NCTE under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 and the Regulations framed thereunder. The Court used the word ‘limited’ because the State’s say is not binding on the NCTE. However, the even though the final authority rests with the NCTE, it is required to take the State’s say into consideration, for the State has a vital role to offer proper comments supported by due reasoning.

The bench of Dipak Misra and C. Nagappan, JJ also referred to the decision of the Court in Maa Vaishno Devi Mahila Mahavidyalaya v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2013) 2 SCC 617, where the role of the State in grant of recognition was explained. It was held that Regulations framed under the Act clearly show that upon receiving an application for recommendation, the NCTE shall send a copy of the application with its letter inviting recommendations/comments of the State Government on all aspects within a period of 30 days. To such application, the State is expected to respond with its complete comments within a period of 60 days. In other words, the opinion of the State on all matters that may concern it in any of the specified fields are called for. The Court observed that this is the stage where the State and its Department should play a vital role and they must take all precautions to offer proper comments supported by due reasoning. Further, after the grant of recognition, once the University conducts inspection in terms of its Statutes or Act, without offending the provisions of the Act and conditions of recognition, then the opinion of the State Government at the second stage is a mere formality unless there was a drastic and unacceptable mistake or the entire process was vitiated by fraud or there was patently eminent danger to life of the students in the school because of non-compliance of a substantive condition imposed by either of the bodies but in the normal circumstances.

Regarding the status of the institutions that have already been recognised by the NCTE, the Court said that the controversy with regard to the said institutions shall stand closed. However, the Court added that, in future, whenever an application is received under the Regulations for grant of recognition, the NCTE shall be guided by its own Regulations and the judgments of this Court and the State shall remain bound by the principles set out hereinabove. The NCTE shall take into consideration the recommendations and views of the State despite the fact that it has the final say. [State of Rajasthan v. LBS B.Ed. College, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 938 , decided on 08.09.2016]

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