The Karnataka High Court has refused to interfere with the rule that two years of work experience after completing a diploma course is mandatory to join the Bachelor of Engineering course in the second year through lateral entry.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna on Wednesday refused to interfere with the June 13 order of the single judge, which too had refused to interfere with the Rule 3(4) of the Karnataka Selection of Candidates for admission to government seats in professional educational institutions (Amendment) Rules 2012.

The main reason for the court’s refusal to interfere with the eligibility criteria was the dictum of the apex court that courts should keep their hands off subjects such as fixation of education qualification as it was the domain of experts in that field.

Byre Gowda H. and 14 others, who are doing a diploma course in engineering in evening colleges had questioned the rule. They contended that the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has prescribed only a diploma with minimum two year fulltime work experience in a registered firm/company/industry/educational and/government autonomous organisation in the relevant field for seeking admission to the BE course under the lateral entry scheme. They said the AICTE rule did not say whether the students should have work experience before or after completing the diploma course.

They argued that the government’s rule could apply only to diploma students studying in day colleges and not those in evening colleges. It requires three years of experience to do a diploma course in evening colleges.

Contention

While the State government contended that the work experience acquired after securing a diploma would alone have nexus with the lateral admission to the B.E course, the AICTE pointed out that States had the liberty to prescribe higher qualification as the AICTE prescribed minimum qualification.

The Division Bench said the single judge considered all the issues and rightly refused to interfere in the matter as per the apex court’s dictum and dismissed the appeal filed by the students.

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