Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 25698 of 2013. Case: Swamy Devi Dayal Hospital and Dental College Vs The Union of India (UOI) and Ors.. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberSpecial Leave Petition (Civil) No. 25698 of 2013
JudgesK. S. Panicker Radhakrishnan and A. K. Sikri, JJ.
IssueDental Council of India, 1948 - Sections 10A, 10A(1), 10A(2), 10A(3), 10A(4); Dental Council of India (Establishment of New Dental College, Opening of New or Higher Course of Study or Training and Increase of Admission Capacity in Dental Colleges) Regulations, 2006
Judgement DateAugust 27, 2013
CourtSupreme Court (India)


A. K. Sikri, J.

  1. The Petitioner is a Dental College set up in the year 2004 for imparting education in the B.D.S. course (Bachelor of Dental Science). The Petitioner is recognized and affiliated to Respondent No. 4 University, viz. Pt. B.D. Sharma University, Rohtak, Haryana.

  2. The Petitioner-college was desirous to start the MDS Course (Master of Dental Surgery). For starting the said course the Petitioner was required to complete the formalities i.e. (i) Essentiality and No Objection Certificate from the State Government; (ii) Affiliation from Pt. B.D. Sharma University for Health Sciences, Rohtak and (iii) Recognition from the Dental Council of India/Union of India.

  3. Respondent No. 3-State of Haryana, vide letter dated 12.1.2010, granted 'No Objection Certificate' to the Petitioner for starting MDS Course. The said 'No Objection Certificate' was granted by the State Government for starting MDS Course in 9 specialties i.e. Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Conservative Dentistry, Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Oral Diagnosis, Oral Pathology, Pedodontics, Periodontics, Oral Diagnosis, Oral Pathology, Pedodontics and Community Dentistry with 3 seats in each specialty from the session 2010-11.

  4. Thereafter, Respondent No. 4-University granted provisional affiliation to the Petitioner-college for 6 out of 9 specialties for academic session 2011-12. Respondent No. 1, i.e. the Central Government also, on the recommendations of Respondent No. 2/Dental Council of India (hereinafter referred to 'DCI'), issued Letter of Intent to the Petitioner for the aforesaid 6 specialties and later on granted permission to the Petitioner-college to start MDS Courses in 6 specialties i.e. (i) Periodontology with 3 seats (ii) Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics with 3 seats (iii) Oral Pathology and Microbiology with 3 seats (iv) Public Health Dentistry with 3 sets (v) Prosthodontics and Preventive Dentistry with 3 seats (vi) Paedodontics and Preventive Dentistry with 3 seats for the session 2011-12. The said permission was extended for the academic session 2012-13 and now the same has been extended for the academic session 2013-14.

  5. In the present case, however, we are not concerned with the aforesaid six specialties. As pointed out above, though for the session 2011-12, the Petitioner was permitted to start courses and six specialties out of 9 courses mooted by it, for the academic session 2012-13, Respondent No. 4 University granted provisionally affiliation to the Petitioner for two more specialties namely (1) Oral Medicines and Radiology and (ii) Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with an intake of 3 seats each. This was followed by affiliation for the 9th specialty also, viz. the Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics for the academic session 2012-13. In the instant petition, we are concerned with the two disciplines namely Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as well as Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

  6. As pointed out above, in respect of these two specialties, Respondent No. 4 University had given the affiliation and students were admitted by the Petitioner-College in these disciplines as well for the academic session 2012-13. However, for the academic session 2013-14, permission has not been extended for these two specialties although for Oral Medicine and Radiology the requisite approval has been accorded. The events that followed for non-grant of permission in respect of these specialties for the academic session 2013-14 are recapitulated below, briefly:

  7. For granting renewal of permission for the aforesaid 2 specialties i.e. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics with three seats each for the academic session 2013-14, the DCI conducted the inspection of the Petitioner-college on 8.12.2012 and 9.12.2012. The Petitioner was not supplied with the report of the Inspectors but vide letter dated 26.12.2012 and 27.12.2012, the Petitioner was informed by the DCI about the deficiencies in these two specialties. The Petitioner, vide letter dated 19.1.2013 and 25.1.2013 submitted compliance report regarding the deficiencies in these two specialties.

  8. Thereafter DCI conducted the verification inspection on 14.2.2013 and 18.2.2013. On the basis of this inspection, report dated 18.2.2013 was prepared by the DCI enlisting the deficiencies which according to DCI remained uncured.

  9. The DCI, accordingly, vide its letter dated 28.2.2013, recommended to the Central Government not to extend the permission in these two specialties and not to allow the Petitioner-college to admit the students in these two specialties for the academic session 2013-14. According to the Petitioner, though it was not supplied the copy of the report dated 18.2.2013 but could procure the same and on coming to know of the aforesaid negative recommendation dated 28.2.2013 of the DCI impressing upon Respondent No. 1 not to accord permission in these two specialties for the current academic session, the Petitioner made a representation to Respondent No. 1 and along with the said report it also submitted a comparative statement of the deficiencies. The Petitioner also requested for personal hearing. However, without affording any hearing, a decision was taken by the Central Government vide letter dated 30th March 2013, addressed to the Petitioner, whereby the permission was declined for renewal of the second year MDS course in the two specialties mentioned above.

  10. Aggrieved by this decision, the Petitioner preferred the Writ Petition in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana questioning the validity thereof. Apart from contending that the Petitioner-college did not suffer from any deficiencies and the order of the Central Government declining the permission of renewal was bad in law, the Petitioner also submitted that before taking the impugned decision Respondent No. 1 had not granted personal hearing thereby violating the mandatory requirement of the provisions of Section 10A(4) of the Dental Council of India 1948 (hereinafter referred to as the Act).

  11. Show cause notice was issued in the said writ and after completion of the pleadings, the matter was heard by the learned Single Judge who has, vide the impugned judgment dated 1.8.2013 dismissed the Writ Petition filed by the Petitioner finding no merit in both the contentions raised by the Petitioner.

  12. The present SLP challenges the said order of the learned Single Judge.

  13. The first and foremost contention of Mr. Patwalia, the learned senior Counsel appearing for the Petitioner was that the High Court had committed a grave error of law in taking a view that no personal hearing was required to be given by the Central Government before passing the order refusing to grant the renewal. Submission was that Section 10A(4) of the Act categorically provides for opportunity of being heard and in the face of such a provision the decision of the High Court on this aspect was palpably wrong,

  14. Section 10A of the Act reads as under:

    10A Permission for establishment of new dental college, new courses of study, etc.

    (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force

    (a) no person shall establish an authority or institution for a course of study or training (including a postgraduate course of study or training) which would enable a student of such course or training to qualify himself for the grant of recognized dental qualification' or

    (b) no authority or institution conducting a course of study or training (including a post-graduate course of study or training) for grant of recognized dental qualification shall

    (i) open a new or higher course of study or training (including a post-graduate course of study or training) which would enable a student of such course or training to qualify himself for the award of any recognized dental qualification; or

    (ii) increase its admission capacity in any course of study or training (including a post-graduate course of study or training), except with the previous permission of the Central Government obtained in accordance with the provisions of this section.

    Explanation 1.-for the purposes of this section, "person" includes any University or a trust but does not include the Central Government.

    Explanation 2.-For the purposes of this Section, "admission capacity", in relation to any course of study or training (includes a post-graduate course of study or training) in an authority or institution granting...

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