New Delhi, Nov. 12: The Supreme Court has ruled that a state government cannot “arbitrarily” negate the “location” chosen by minority or non-minority educational institutions for setting up professional colleges.
“Although the state has a say in the matter as regard(s) location for establishing a professional college, it has to exercise such power in a reasonable manner,” a division bench of Chief Justice V.. Khare and Justice S.B. Sinha said in a judgment delivered yesterday.
“The factors which are relevant for determination of such issues would be local needs and public interest” and, “while rejecting an application for grant of essentiality (or clearance) certificate, the state must comply with the principles of natural justice”, the judges said.
“In short, the state cannot act arbitrarily or capriciously. Its decision (to deny essentiality certificate to an institution) must be informed by reasons and based on relevant factors,” they added.
The judgment came on an appeal filed by the Medwin Educational Society of Andhra Pradesh against a verdict of the high court holding that the state “is at liberty” to grant essentiality certificates and could also reject the choice of a location as unsuitable.
The apex court said the issues raised by the institution were not considered by the high court and asked it to look into the matter “afresh”.
While high courts deal with such matters, the apex court said they should look into the “arbitrariness or otherwise” of the act of a state in denying essentiality certificate to an institute.
The high courts should also consider whether the location chosen suited local needs and was in public interest, the judges added.
In this case, the Medwin Educational Society wanted to start a medical college in the Telengana region.