‘AICTE charged the college with submitting false records to obtain the extension of approval for MBA’

The Madras High Court bench here last week ordered an interim stay on a show-cause notice issued by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to the American College contemplating to revoke its approval for Masters of Business Administration (MBA) course in the college.

Justice S. Nagamuthu ordered the interim stay based on a petition filed by M. Davamani Christober, the principal of the college. Mr. Christober claimed in his petition that the college has been offering MBA programme, recognised by the Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU), since 1995.

The petitioner added that the MKU sanctioned the college to admit 60 students every year to the course. However, in 2007 when the AICTE published in its website, the list of colleges recognised to offer MBA and the permitted intake of students, the student strength permitted to the American College was mentioned as 30 instead of 60, he alleged.

The former principal filed a petition in the High Court bench here claiming that the college was not intimated about the reduction in the sanctioned strength, Mr. Christober claimed. According to him, the case was dismissed in 2008, but the former principal and his advocates failed to convey the details of the case to the petitioner.

Therefore, the college administration was caught unawares when it received the AICTE’s show-cause notice on May 29, 2013, Mr. Christober contended. In the show-cause notice, the AICTE had charged the college with submitting false records since 2007 to obtain the extension of approval for MBA, he claimed.

According to the petitioner, the show-cause notice claimed that the American College had submitted in its records that the sanctioned strength for MBA was 60 until this year, whereas the strength was reduced to 30 in 2007 itself. The AICTE had granted extension of approval to MBA ‘mistakenly’, the petitioner said citing the notice. The AICTE proposed to revoke the approval for MBA course if the college did not submit an explanation within 10 days, he added.

In his petition, Mr. Christober contended that as per the Supreme Court’s rulings, the AICTE was only “an advisory board and had no jurisdiction to proceed against any college”. He pleaded for a direction to the AICTE to quash the show-cause notice. Justice Nagamuthu has stayed the show-cause notice for eight weeks.