C.M. Appl. No. 201 of 2015 (Arising out of WP(C) No. 08 of 2015). Case: Pralhad Dani Chhetri and Ors. Vs Union of India and Ors.. Sikkim High Court

Case NumberC.M. Appl. No. 201 of 2015 (Arising out of WP(C) No. 08 of 2015)
CounselFor Appellant: Ritesh Agarwal and Zangpo Sherpa, Advocates and For Respondents: Karma Thinlay Namgyal, Central Government Counsel
JudgesSonam Phintso Wangdi, J.
IssueEducation Law
Judgement DateSeptember 28, 2015
CourtSikkim High Court


Sonam Phintso Wangdi, J.

  1. This matter was not listed today but, has been taken up, on being mentioned.

  2. In this application, the Petitioners, inter alia, seek for a direction upon the Respondent No. 2-UGC to upload the judgment and order dated 29-06-2015 passed in WP(C) No. 08 of 2015 in their official website with immediate effect and also to communicate the said judgment to the Australian High Commission and the Denmark Embassy, New Delhi.

  3. The need to file the present application, as per the Petitioners, arose as the Australian High Commission expressed its doubt on the applicability of the aforesaid judgment on the Respondent No. 2-UGC, which according to them, is a "Federal Body". The Embassy had got this impression due to a communication received by them from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Higher Education, Government of India, vide their letter dated 11-05-2011 [Annexure P32 filed in WP(C) No. 08 of 2015] by which it was informed that no Study Centre of the Respondent No. 4-Univesity had been approved either by the Distance Education Council or the University Grants Commission, Respondent No. 2 and further, that the degrees/programmes offered in the Distance Mode by the Respondent No. 4-University were not recognised under the Indian Law and could not be equated on terms with an Indian degree/programme. This fact was also noted by this Court in its judgment dated 29-06-2015 passed in WP(C) No. 08 of 2015.

  4. The Petitioners are some of the students in the Distance Education Programme of the Respondent No. 4-University through their Study Center in Kathmandu, Nepal. While the Petitioners No. 1 to 3 are those who had taken their admissions during the validity of the Distance Education Course prior to the academic year 2011-12, the Petitioner No. 4 is one who had taken admission during the subsistence of the interim order of this Court dated 22-02-2013 passed in WP(C) No. 04 of 2013 in the matter of Sikkim Manipal University vs. Indira Gandhi National Open University and Others.

  5. It is stated that after pronouncement of the judgment dated 29-06-2015 in WP(C) No. 08 of 2015, the Petitioners had approached the Respondent No. 2-UGC requesting them to communicate to the Australian High Commission, Denmark Embassy and other Foreign Authorities, about the validity of their degrees as a consequence of the judgment. However, the Respondent No. 2-UGC did not respond leading the Petitioners to file the present application praying for issuance of appropriate directions upon the Respondent No. 2-UGC.

  6. The other relief which the Petitioners seek is a direction upon the Respondents to allow the Petitioner No. 4 and other similarly situated students undergoing studies in the Distance Mode of the Respondent No. 4-University through its Study Centre situated at Kathmandu, Nepal, who were admitted prior to the date of judgment dated 26-06-2015 in WP(C) No. 04 of 2013, to complete their courses. This relief is sought for as the Respondent No. 4-University is said to be closing down its Study Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal, even for the students who got admissions prior to the date of judgment dated 26-06-2015 and are still continuing with their studies depriving a large number of students the opportunity of completing their courses despite directions of this Court in judgments dated 26-06-2015 in WP(C) No. 04 of 2013 and dated 29-06-2015 in WP(C) No. 08 of 2015.

  7. I have heard the Learned Counsel for the parties and have considered the application in the light of the judgments in WP(C) No. 08 of 2015 and WP(C) No. 04 of 2013.

  8. While taking up the second prayer first, at the very outset, Mr. Bhaskar Raj Pradhan, Learned Senior Advocate, appearing on behalf of the Respondent No. 4-University, on instructions, submitted that all...

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