HC rejects Rajasthan based varsity’s plea on 271 students’ incurred expenses under PM’s scheme

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Monday dismissed a Rajasthan-based University’s plea, seeking reimbursement of the expenses allegedly incurred by the varsity for the students of Jammu & Kashmir under the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme which was denied to the leftover 271 students of Session 2014-15 by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi.

A bench of Justice M A Chowdhary after hearing the parties held as “non-maintainable” the Varsity’s plea for “lack of jurisdiction.”

Underscoring that “the cause of action cannot be said to have wholly or partly accrued within the jurisdiction of this Court,” the bench said: “Therefore, without going into the merits of the case, this petition is not worth to be entertained, ….and ‘no cause of action’ having arisen within the territorial jurisdiction of this Court.”

Suresh Gyan Vihar University had contended that the expenses incurred by it were with regard to tuition fee, hostel fee, cost of books and other incidental expenses.

The varsity had stated that it was excluded by the AICTE from the benefit of Scholarship as it has not got its approval. It had lodged the claim on the ground that the approval of the AICTE was not required to the University and had sought direction upon government that the amount of Scholarship comprising of tuition fee, hostel fee, mess charges and other charges including consequential renewals till the completion of the course in favour of the 271 left-over students for the academic session 2014- 15, be released in its favour.

In its response, the central government stated that the students from J&K were required to apply under the scheme on the AICTE portal saying only those eligible students, who were within the merit list and had been allotted colleges through centralized counselling or had taken admission on their own in college or University either approved under Section 12 B of UGC Act or recognized by AICTE or by other regulatory authority and their application forwarded by the Government of J&K, were to be considered for award of scholarship under the scheme.

The government said that as the number of scholarship is limited, mere eligibility of the student does not guarantee them scholarship. Further, it submitted that the scholarship of eligible students of the academic year 2014-15 of Suresh Gyan Vihar University had already been released to the advantage of eligible persons by relaxing relevant Condition.

“271 left over students (were) not been found eligible for scholarship under the Special Scholarship Scheme for J&K due to “not in merit”, courses not approved by AICTE or either for other reasons, therefore, 271 left over ineligible students of Suresh Gyan Vihar University of the academic year 2014-15 cannot be considered and granted scholarship under the Scheme.”

The bench eventually held that the petition was “non-maintainable for lack of jurisdiction.”

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