Facts and Background:
The petitioner sought approval from the National Council for Teacher Education to deliver a BA/B.ED/B.SC.B.ED program through their organization. The matter was referred to the Northern Regional Committee by the NCTE (NRC). The NRC issued a show-cause notice to the Petitioner, citing many flaws in his submission. The Petitioner corrected the problems, and the NRC issued another show-cause notice to the Petitioner on 21.6.16, to which the Petitioner did not respond. On 29.7.16, the NRC denied the Petitioner's application, prompting the Petitioner to file the new Writ petition.
The Petitioner argued that the show cause notice issued on 21.6.16 was backed up by an order issued by the Haryana government on 12.3.16 asking the NCTE not to consider applications from societies/trusts seeking recognition for their integrated programs and the establishment of new B.Ed. colleges in the state. The Petitioner claims that the aforementioned order cannot be applied to the Petitioner's application because the Petitioner's application was filed before the Order. The Petitioner moreover placed reliance on Chotu Ram Jat college of education v National Council for Teacher’s Association (supra) which ruled that “the institutions whose applications were pending before the imposition of the bans by the State Governments would not be covered by the ban, and their applications would have to be reconsidered by the NCTE”.
The Respondents argued that the Order issued on September 27, 2016, was not solely based on the state ban, but also on three other grounds mentioned in the show cause notice dated September 21, 2016. The Respondents also stated that instead of approaching this Court directly under Article 226 of the Constitution, the Petitioner should have used its constitutional right of appeal under Section 18 of the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993.
The Court referred to cases in which NCTE was involved, and similar petitions were filed on similar grounds; NCTE itself agreed that Chotu Ram's decision would cover the appeals. The Court also reasoned that, in general, a statutory authority was entitled to be guided only by relevant factors, and that where irrelevant factors were considered by the statutory authority, the Order was vulnerable to correction under Article 226 of the Constitution, and that NCTE was influenced by the state ban decision.
The Court also rejected the Petitioner's claim that remedies under Article 226 of the Constitution were unavailable, noting that the Petitioner was confronted with an Order that was based not on the facts of the case, but the State Government's general policy recommendation, and that several similar petitions had been granted by the Court, and that the Petitioner could not be treated differently.
The Writ petition was allowed and the Order issued on 27.6.19 by the Northern Regional committee was set aside.