Shimla, July 25: In a major setback to 16 private universities and an equal number of private technical institutes in the state, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has refused to intervene in the state's mechanism to regulate their admission process.
Dismissing petitions of the Himachal Private Universities Management Association and the Private Technical Institution's Association, a division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan Wednesday said: "The impugned measures providing for admission on the basis of combined entrance test (CET) are reasonable."
The bench, which had reserved the judgment July 8, said the "fixation of fee is a policy matter and lies solely within the domain of the respondents (government and Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission). Even otherwise, this court lacks expertise to determine what should be the fees for different kinds of courses".
Though the petitioners have claimed various relief in their petitions, the court said that during the course of arguments, the petitioners confined their claim for issuance of writ of mandamus directing the state to allow the institutions to fill the seats. The petitioners contended that earlier they were permitted to admit students in technical courses in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). It was provided that in case some seats remain vacant after counselling, these would be filled by adhering to the criteria prescribed by the AICTE.
The state-run Himachal Pradesh Technical University in Hamirpur issued fresh guidelines Dec 6, 2013 for admission to B.Tech, B.Pharma, MCA, MBA, M.Tech and M.Pharma courses for the session 2014-15 and the petitioners cannot admit students either on their own or through any other agencies, they pleaded.