Bombay HC Affirms State's Refusal; Denies Permission For Educational Institutions In Pune To 2 Foundations

Bombay HC Affirms State's Refusal; Denies Permission For Educational Institutions In Pune To 2 Foundations

The government said it refused permission stating that the petitioners had no prior educational institute set up and their financial position was lower compared to those institutions that were granted permission.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, March 04, 2024, 08:49 PM IST
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Bombay HC | PTI

The Bombay High Court has upheld the decision of the state government quashing permissions granted to two foundations — Jagruti Foundation and Sanjay Modak Education Society — to set up educational institutions in Pune.

Court's observations

The HC said the court is not an expert in education policy matters and the state government is the best authority to select the best, and the mere power to choose cannot be termed as arbitrary.

“Pune has been known as the ‘Oxford of the East’ for decades and it has attracted students not only from India but other countries as well. This has resulted in Pune being a hub of educational institutions,” a bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and Jitendra Jain observed on February 21.

With the growth of the city, there has been competition in setting up of colleges and schools not only in Pune but also around its periphery. “Although education is considered pious in our culture, with change in time it has taken a different colour and has become unaffordable,” the bench noted.

Under such circumstances, it is the State’s constitutional responsibility to ensure quality education reaches one and all to achieve growth and development of humanity, it said.

SC dismisses the petitions

The HC then dismissed the petitions filed by the two institutions challenging the government’s decision of 2023 refusing to permit them to set up educational institutions in Pune. They alleged that there were singled out, from other institutions, on irrelevant / extraneous consideration.

The government, however, said it refused permission stating that the petitioners had no prior educational institute set up and their financial position was lower compared to those institutions that were granted permission.

"Experience important"

The bench said that experience of running an educational institution was important while deciding whether an institute was capable of setting up a new one. It added that it can intervene only when the decision-making authority breaches the rules of natural justice or abuses its power.

“For any education institute to be set-up or run, the nature of the land, financial availability, infrastructure, etc, is certainly a very crucial factor to be considered,” the bench said.

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