The first bench comprising Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observation while passing orders on appeals preferred by the Anna University primarily challenging the observations made by a Single Judge that the regulations of the Anna University are subservient to the authority of the AICTE.
The single judge had made this observation while passing orders on a plea moved by ARM College of Engineering, and ARS College of Engineering in Chengalpattu district, challenging Anna University’s order on November 09, 2019, suspending the affiliation granted to these colleges owing to lack of prescribed faculty. Based on this, AICTE passed orders on June 30, 2020, preventing the two institutions from taking any future admissions for the academic year 2020-21.
However, the bench on observing that the major contest between the University and the said colleges is about the competence and authority of the University to pass orders of suspension of affiliation of an academic programme, said, “we are of the opinion that this power of suspension of affiliation is a distinct power to be exercised by the University, if it is satisfied about deficiencies or any complaints in this regard.”
The bench set aside the single judge’s order quashing the University’s order cancelling affiliations. However, on the principles of natural justice, it upheld the single judge’s order quashing AICTE’s order and held that the University’s order shall be subject to any final orders to be passed by the AICTE.