The High Court, in its order, took particular note of the fact that the new building of the engineering college did not have an occupation certificate (OC) and that the trust, Parshvanath Charitable Trust, has not yet established a clear title to the land.
Other alleged violations noted by the High Court were the absence of an NOC from the state government or the University of Mumbai.
The trust was first granted approval to run an engineering college in 1994 with an intake capacity of 140 students. In 2008, it submitted an application to the AICTE, in which it stated that it proposed to shift the college to a new location in Thane.
An expert committee constituted by the AICTE subsequently found that the title of the land on which the new building stands was in the name of another trust, which had leased it to the Parshvanath trust.
The committee noted that a private lease for land would not be acceptable and that the title must be through a registered sale deed or gift deed.
Referring to regulations framed by the AICTE, regarding approval to such colleges, a Division Bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice A A Sayed said, “Now it is evident from these requirements that a change of location can be permitted only after a no-objection certificate has been issued by the state government and by the affiliating body, which, in this case, is the University of Mumbai.”
The judges further said, “These requirements are framed in the interest of education. Courts should not dilute those standards. It is not the economic interest of the institution but the welfare of the students, which is paramount.”
Observing that it would not be appropriate to interfere with the ACITE decision, the court dismissed the trust’s petition.