S.H.A. Raza, J.
1. Fate of this writ petition hinges on the reply 10 the question as to whether Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, a premier girls college of the city, which has been recognised as a minority Institution by the State Government and is an associate college of the Lucknow University, is clothed with the power to admit the students in B .Ed. classes by adopting its own method of selection, under Article 30 of the Constitution of India.
2. Present writ petition has been filed by the Committee of Management of Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, assailing the U. P. State Universities (Regulation of Admission to Courses of Instruction for Degrees in Education in Affiliated, Associated and Constituent College) Order, 1987 and the Govt. Order No. 1310/15-11-95-3 (10)/92 dated 7-8-1995, which is said to be inapplicable to the said college and if it is found to be applicable to the extent of its applicability to the college, the provisions may be declared void and quashed.
3. Said Regulation was issued in exercise of powers under Sub-section (5) of Section 28 of the Uttar Pradesh State Universities Act, 1973 as reenactcd by the U.P. Universities (Enactment & Amendment) Act, 1974 (U.P. Act No. 29 of 1974), and in supersession of all previous rules and orders issued in that behalf.
4. Section 28(5)(b) of the U.P. State Universities Act provides that the admission to medical and engineering colleges and to courses of instruction for degrees in Education and Ayurvedic or Unani systems of medicine (including the number of students to be admitted), shall subject to Clause (a) be regulated by such orders (which if necessary may be with retrospective effect), hut not effective prior to January 1, 1979 as the State Government may be notification, make in that behalf.
5. Proviso to aforesaid section, states that no order regulating admission under this Clause shall be inconsistent with the rights of minorities in the matter of establishing and administering educational institutions of their choice.
6. Chapter-II, of 1987 Regulation provides procedure for admission for B.Ed, classes. According to which, it will be responsibility of the concerned University to prepare a merit list for admission to B.Ed, courses in an affiliated, associated and constituent college. Admissions shall be made according to the merit so prepared, unless a candidate is found ineligible for admission under sub para-3 of para
12. The maximum number of students to be admitted in every college shall be as such as may be prescribed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University and no person shall be admitted in excess of such number in any case.
7. Regulation-14 provides that the principal of the concerned college shall give admission to the candidates after verifying their original certificates.
8. On 25-8-1975, by means of the Government order No. 5316/15-75 (ii)-14(7)/75. it has been accepted that Isabella Thoburn College, is a minority Institution of Christian community, hence with the view to afford protection to the Christian minority, enshrined in Article 30 of the Constitution, the Government order dated 11-7-1975 regulating the admission for B.Ed. classes, would not be applicable to Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow.
9. As the Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow was exempted from operation of the Regulation, it was permitted to admit the students to B.Ed. classes and no objection was ever taken against the authorities of the College, in admitting the students in B.Ed, courses in the said Institution.
10. But, after coming into force of 1987 Regulation, Isabella Thoburn College, staked its right to admit B.Ed, students, by assailing 1987 Regulation, to the extent it was applied to the minority Institution, in W. P. No. 4530 (MB)/ 1987, which is still pending before this Court.
11. On 10-7-1987, a Division Bench of this Court passed an interim order to the effect that Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow shall be entitled to admit members of the minority community whose interest they cater to and only thereafter, the remaining seats will be filled according to Annexure-2 (Regulation 1987). The candidates to be admitted by the petitioners must possess the minimum qualifications prescribed in Annexure-2 or elsewhere.
12. According to the petitioner, no counter-affidavit has yet been filed in the said writ petition and the stay order, which was confirmed, still remains in operation.
13. It has been submitted that the said college, had been admitting the students in B.Ed, classes every year, in accordance with the orders of this Court passed in W. P. No. 4530 of 1987, till 1995.
14. On 7-8-1995, the State of U.P. issued another Government order No. 1310/15-11-95-3 (101)/92, which provided that with a view to maintenance of standard in minority Institution with regard to the admission in B.Ed, classes to the extent of 50% seats belonging to minority candidates, a committee shall be constituted which would be headed by a nominee of the Vice Chancellor of the University, Principal of minority Institution, a nominee of the Higher Education Commission, not below the designation of Regional Higher Education Officer, which will lay down the guide-lines for such admission in view of the judgment of Hon' bie Supreme Court dated 6-12-1991 passed in W. P. No. 1868 of 1980 and 13213 of 1984. According to the petitioner, till now that committee has not issued any guideline for the said admission.
15. It was vehemently contended that although the Govt. order dated 7-8-1995, which has also been impugned in the writ petition, provided for the constitution of acommittee to maintainquality and standard of the students seeking admission as the minority candidates to the extent of 50% of the seats pertaining to the minority community, but no indication or direction was issued in the said Govt. order, regulating the admission as far as the remaining 50% seats belonging to general category.
16. Being apprehensive that in pursuance of the Government order dated 7-8-1995, University authorities will hold entrance examination for the remaining 50% seats belonging to general category, the present writ petition was filed.
17. On July 3, 1995, a Division Bench of this Court consisting of ourselves, passed the following order :-- -
"Attention of this Court was drawn towards the Regulation dated 7-8-1995 issued by the Chancellor of the University which provided that there should be a committee consisting of either the Vice Chancellor, or a person nominated by him, the Principal of the minority Institution, a representative of the Directorate of Higher Education who will not be lower than Regional High Education Officer, for laying certain parameter for admission in a minority institution. The said Government order has been assailed on the ground that it infringes the provisions of Article 30 of the Constitution of India.
Petitioner claims to be a minority Institution and is going to hold the test for admission into B.Ed. classes.
It has been stated by Mr. P. N. Mathur, learned counsel for the petitioner that the test is schedule to be held on 4-7-96 and till now the said Committee has not laid down any parameter or criteria for the selection of students in B.Ed. classes. It was categorically staled by Sri P. N. Mathur that the admission would be strictly on merit, on the basis of the marks obtained in the test. Hence, there should not be apprehension in the mind of anybody, that the merit would be discarded and the person having secured lesser merit would be admitted.
Unfortunately, no counter-affidavit has yet been filed. Learned standing counsel has even not received any instruction.
In St. Stephen's College v. University of Delhi, (1992) 1 SCC 558 : (AIR 1992 SC 1630, it has been held by Hon'ble Supreme Court that the State can regulate the standard of admission of even the minority Institution, but the State shall have the power to regulate the admission to the extent of 50% only; meaning thereby that the minority Institution has been given rather blanket cheque to admit 50% students in accordance with the merit amongst the member of their own community and for remaining 50%, the State Government can frame regulation.
On May 5, 1987, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh in exercise of the powers under Sub-section 5 of Section 28 of the U. P. State Universities (Regulation of Admission to the classes for degree in education in Affiliated, Associated and Constituent) Order, 1987, which has not been challenged in this writ petition. But the Government order dated 7-8-1995 has been assailed by means of which the Governor of the State, who is also the Chancellor of the Universities, appointed a Committee consisting of Vice Chancellor of the University, or his nominee of the University, the Principal of the minority Institution, Regional High Officer of the Directorate of Higher Education, to lay down criterion and parameter for admission in the minority Institutions, to regulate 50% of the admission. The said Government order dated 7-8-1995 has been assailed.
As no counter-affidavit has been filed, this Court is not aware as to whether the Committee so appointed has laid down any criterion or parameter for admission in B.Ed, classes of the Institution in question or not.
In view of the aforesaid position, the process of admission in B.Ed, classes in Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow which is a premier girls students college of the State, eannot be stopped in this session.
We are of the view that the petitioner-Institution be permitted to hold the test. But, it would be in the interest of the Institution, itself to show that its action reflects accountability and transparency. Therefore, it would he worth while that the students be asked not to write down their names in the answer books. Serial number or the roll numbers allotted to the candidates, would only be written in the answer books at the first page only. Those serial numbers or the roll numbers would be scored out by the Principal of the Institution, before evaluation or checking of the answer books and instead code numbers or fictitious numbers would be given by the Principal, which will be written in the answer books. The answer books would undoubtedly, be evaluated or checked by the teachers of the College. But, as soon as that process would be over, the answer books woule be sent to the Vice Chancellor of the Lucknow University for re-evaluation or rechecking, who would nominate some lecturers in the education department, to evaluate the answer books or check the answer books. If it would involve any expenses, the management of the College would settle the same with the Vice Chancellor of the University. However, it is made clear that the petitioner will not admit more than 50% of the students in B.Ed. classes belonging to the Christian community till further orders of this Court, but if the management admit the students only on the criterion of merit, without any distinction of religion etc. they will be free to do so in keeping with the letter and spirit of notification No. 451/XV-II-873 (58)-79, dated 5th May 1987.
Learned standing counsel is directed to file a response within six weeks. List thereafter."
18. Although, this Court directed that the answer books of the entrance examination would be evaluated by the College, but the University was directed to recheck the evaluation as done by the College. However, this Court ordered that the said college will not admit more than 50% of the students in B.Ed. classes belonging to Christian community till further orders of the Court, but if the Management admits the students only on the crilcrian of merit, without any distinction of religion etc., they would be free to do so.
19. After evaluating the answer books in accordance with the procedure laid down by this Court, the said college made request to the Lucknow University on 3-8-96 for nomination of the lecturers for re-evaluating and rechecking of the answer books of B.Ed, entrance test. On 10-8-1996, a reminder was also sent. But, instead of complying with the order passed by this Court, the University authorities did not act and preferred an application for modification and clarification of the order passed by this Court. On 20-8-1996, the University asked the said college, to wait till the decision on the application preferred by the University before this Court.
20. Case of the University authorities as set out in the short-counter-affidavit annexed to the application for modification/clarification of the said order dated 3-7-1996 passed by this Court, which is actually an application for vacation of the interim order, is that the Reglation dated 5-5-1987 issued under Section 25 (5) of the Act lays down a procedure for admission in B.Ed, classes in all the associate colleges of the University. Similar Govt. order dated 7-8-95 has permitted the minority Institution to hold the entrance test for filling 50% of the seats subject to the guidelines, which may be issued by the Committee for maintaining quality and standard of education. It was averred that Isabella Thoburn College, has been sanctioned hundred seats for admission in B.Ed, classes by the Vice Chancellor of the University, out of which 50% seats could be filled by the college by holding a test and remaining 50% by a common entrance test, as per Regulation, 1987. It was vehemently asserted that it is the obligation of the University to ensure that the standard of education is maintained in associate colleges, including the minority associated colleges and the colleges could not take exception to it, by assailing the said Regulation and orders. It was asserted that the aforesaid Regulation and Orders are not violalive of Article 30 of the Constitution of India.
21. Taking a cue from the observations of Hon'ble Supreme Court in St. Stephen's College v. University of Delhi (1992) 1 SCC 558 : (AIR 1992 SC 1630), it was asserted that the minority Institution like Isabella Thoburn College, can admit the students for B.Ed, classes only to the extent of 50% belonging to the minority community, out of total scats of hundred, but the college cannot admit 50% remaining seats belonging to general category.
22. Question, as to whether Article 30 of the Constitution, clothes minority educational Institution, a power to admit the students by adopting its own method of selection and that the State or the University possess any power to regulate admission to such minority Institution, is such an issue, which is under consideration before a Constitution Bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court, which has been referred for decision in T.M.A. Foundation v. State of Karnataka, (1993) 4 SCC 286 : (AIR 1994 SC 13).
23. In St. Stephen's College, (AIR 1992 SC 1630) (supra), Hon'ble Supreme Court framed three questions for decision. The first question pertained to origin and purposes of St. Stephen's College, the second question was as to whether St. Stephen's College, as minority Institution, was bound by the University circulars dated June 5, 1980 and June 9, 1980 and the third question was whether St. Stephen's College and Allahabad Agricultural Institute are entitled to accord preference to or reserve seats for students of their own community and whether such preference or reservation would be invalid under Article 29(2) of the Constitution.
24. The first question was replied in affirmative and it was held that St. Stephen's college was established and administered by the minority community, viz Christian communily, which is indisputably a religious minority in India as well as in the Union territory of Delhi where the college is located.
25. Before dealing with the observation of Hon'ble Supreme Court as far as the second question is concerned, we have to examine the nature of the circular dated 5-6-1980 and 9-6-1980, which were issued by the University. The first circular prescribed the last date for receipt of the application for admission, and by the second circular, all the colleges were directed to admit the students, on the merit of percentage of marks secured by students in the qualifying examination. As the first circular was closely connected with the directive contained in the second circular inasmuch as, if the last dale fixed in the first circular for receipt of applications v. as followed, then the College couid not have selected applicants by following its own admission programme. The case of the St. Stephen's College, before Hon'ble Supreme Court was that it has been following its own admission programme for more than 100 years and over the years it has built up a corporate image in a number of distinctive activities. The admission programme of the college has become a crucial instrument to promote the excellence of the institution and its forms part of the administration, which the college is entitled to have as a minority institution under Article 30(1) of the Constitution. The University cannot direct the college to dispense with its admission programme in the absence of proof of maladministration of the College. The circulars have been challenged also on the ground that they are not regulative in nature. It is said that if students are admitted purely on the basis of marks obtained by them in the qualifying examination, it would not be possible lor any Christian student to get admission. It has been found that unless concession is afforded the Christian students cannot be brought within the zone of consideration, as they generally lack merit, when compared with the other applicants.
26. Before. Hon'ble Supreme Court, it was asserted that the selection was made by St. Stephen's College, by judging the candidates at the interview and the marks secured in the examination are not taken into account for consideration and the marks are only relevant for calling a candidate for interview. But, Hon'ble Supreme Court, held that the marks obtained in the written examination are of greater weight and the interview is only the supplementery test. It was observed; that there existed nothing on record to suggest that the interview conducted by the Selection Committee, was contrary to the principle laid down by this Court in Chitralekha v. State of Mysore, AIR 1964 SC 1823, A. Peeriakaruppan v. State of T.N., (1971) 1 SCC 38 : (AIR 1971 SC 2303); Nishi Manghu v. State of J & K. (1980) 4 SCC 95 : (AIR 1980 SC 1975), Ajay Hansia v. Khalid Mujib Schravaroi, (1981) 1 SCC 722 : (AIR 1981 SC 487), Lila Dhar v. State of Rajasthan, (1981) 4 SCC 159 : (AIR 198 1 SC 1777) and Koshal Kumar Gupta v. State of J & K. (1984) 2 SCC 652 : (AIR 1984 SC 1056). Hon'ble Supreme Court found that there was no arbitrariness, or vice of lack of scientific basis in the interview or in the selection and further observed that the Court was unable to accept the submission that the College Admission Programme is arbitrary and the University criteria for selection is objective. In reply, to the second question, in the end, it was observed that the St. Stephen's College was not bound by means of the circular of the University.
27. Third question was also replied in affirmative, wherein, as per majority, Hon'ble Supreme Court observed :
"In the light of all these principles and factors and in view of the importance which the Constitution attaches to protective measures to minorities under Article 30(1), the minority aided educational institutions are entitled to prefer their community candidates to maintain the minority character of the institutions subject of course to conformity with the University standard. The State may regulate the intake in this category with due regard to the need of the community in the area which the institution is intended to serve. But, in no case such intake shall exceed 50 per cent of the annual admission. The minority institutions shall make available at least 50 per cent of the annual admission to members of communities other than the minority community. The admission of the community candidates shall be done purely on the basis of merit."
28. In the light of the observations of Hon'ble Supreme Court, it was vehemently argued, while relying on St. Stephen's decision, for the purposes of putting a seal of 50% of the total seats to be filled up by the minority community, but on the other hand, it was said that the University authorities have been wrongly misinterpreting the observations of Hon'ble Supreme Court in St. Stephen's case, to the effect that Article 30 of the Constitution clothes a minority Institution with the power to admit the students by adopting its own method of selection and that the State had no authority to such minority educational Institution.
29. This argument led us to look into the mandate of the Constitution as contained in Article 30 of the Constitution of India, which provides as under ;-
Article 30 : right to establish and administer educational Institution :
All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
30. There is catena of precedents, which we need not be cited that the State has the right to regulate the standard of education and allied matters. Minority institutions cannot be permitted to fall below the standard of excellence expected of educational institutions. They cannot decline to follow the general pattern of education under the guise of exclusive right of management. But the management and the administration of the minority colleges, shall be left to them.
31. In Ahmedabad St. Xavier' s College Society v. State of Gujarat, (1974) 1 SCC 717 : (AIR 1974 SC 1389) a decision of nine Judges Bench, it was observed in para 46 of the report:--
"That the ultimate goal of a minority institution too imparting general secural education is advancement of learning. This Court has consistently held that it is not only permissible but also desirable to regulate everything in educational and academic matters for achieving excellence and uniformity in standards of education."
32. But, Hon'ble Khanna, J. look the problem ifferently, in para 90 of the report, wherein it was observed :
"The right of, the minorities to administer educational institutions does not, however, prevent the making of reasonable regulations in respect of those institutions. The regulations have necessarily to be made in the interest of the institution as a minority educational institution. They have to be so designed as to make it an effective vehicle for imparting education. The right to administer educational institutions can plainly not include the right to maladminister. Regulations can be made to prevent the housing of an educational institution in unhealthy surroundings, as also to prevent the setting up or continuation of an educational institution without qualified teachers. The Stale can prescribe regulations to ensure the excellence of the institution. Prescription of standards for educational institutions does not militate against the right of the minority to administer the institutions. Regulations made in the true interests of the efficiency of instruction, discipline, health, sanitation, morality, public order, and the like may undoubtedly be imposed. Such regulations are not restrictions on the substance of the right which is guaranteed; they secure the proper functioning of the institution, in matters educational (in the matters pertaining to education or educational matters).
33. Hon'ble Mathew, J. in para 77 was of the view that no educational institution established by a religious or linguistic minority can claim total immunity from regulations by the legislature or the University if it wants affiliation or recognition, but the character of the permissible regulation must depend upon their purpose. It was observed that in every case, when the reasonableness of a regulation comes up for consideration before the Court, the question to be asked and answered is whether the regulation is calculated to subserve or will in effect subserve the purpose of recognition or affiliation. The Regulation must be conducive to the interest of the minority community and to those persons who resort to it. Hon'ble Mathew, J. relied upon the observations of Hon'ble Supreme Court in Lily Kurian v. Sr. Lewina, (1979) 2 SCC 124 : (AIR 1979 SC 52), wherein it was observed (para 36 of AIR) .
"Article 30(1) is not a charter for maladministration; regulation, so that the right to administer may be better exercised for the benefit of the institution, is permissible; but the moment one goes beyond that and imposes, what is in truth, not a mere regulation but an impairment of the right to administer, the article comes into play and the interference cannot be justified by pleading the interests of the general public; the interests justifying inlerference can only be the interests of the minority concerned."
34. Even earlier, in Sidharajbhai Sabbal v. State of Gujarat, AIR 1963 SC 540, a Constitutional Bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court observed :
'Severe restrictions on right of private Training College to admit students of their choice with a threat to withdraw recognition and to refuse to pay grant-in-aid in case of breach, is violative of Article 30(1) of the Constitution.'
It was further observed (Para 15) :
'The right established by Article 30(1) is a fundamental right declared in terms absolute. Unlike the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by Article 19, it is not subject to reasonable restrictions. It is intended to be a real right for the protection of the minorities in the matter of setting up of educational institutions of their own choice. The right is intended to be effective and is not to be withheld down by so-called regulative measures conceived in the interest not of the minority educational institution, but of the public or the nation as a whole. If every order which while maintaining the formal character of a minority institution destroys the power of administration is held justifiable because it is in the public on national interest, though not in its interest as an educational institution, the right guaranteed by Article 30(1) will be but a 'teasing illusion' a promise of unreality. Regulations which may lawfully be imposed either by legislative or executive aelion as a condition of receiving grant or of recognition must be directed to making the institution while retaining its character as a minority institution effective as an educational institution. Such regulation must satisfy a dual test.--the test of reasonableness and the test that it is regulative of the educational character of the institution and is conducive to making the institution an effective vehicle of education for the minority community or other persons who resort to it.'
'We are, therefore, of the view that the Rule 5(2) of the Rules for Primary Training College and Rules 11 and 14 for recognition of Private Training Institutions, in so far as they relate to reservation of seats therein under orders of Government, and directions given pursuant thereto regarding reservation of 80% of the seats and the threat to withhold grant-in-aid and recognition of the College, infringe the fundamental freedom guaranteed to the petitioners under Article 30(1).'
35. In view of the aforesaid observations, the impugned Rules were quashed.
36. In Rt. Rev. Magr. Mark Netto v. Govt. of Kerala, (1979) 1 SCC 23 : (AIR 1979 SC 83), Hon'ble Supreme Court observed that the denial of permission to the management of a minority school to admit girls students was held to be bad. The withholding of permission for admission of girls students in the boys minority school was violative of Article 30(1). It was also observed that the rule sanctioning such refusal of permission crosses the barrier of regulatory measures and comes in the region of interference with the administration of the institution, a right which is guaranteed to the minority under Article 30(1). The Court restricted the operation of the rule and made it inapplicable to the minority educational institution.
37. In Director of School Education, Govt. of T.N. v. Rev. Brother G. Arogiasamy, AIR 1971 Mad 440, Madras High Court had an occasion to consider the validity of an uniform procedure prescribed by the State Government for admission of candidates to the aided training schools. The Government directed that the candidates should be selected by the school authorities by interviewing every candidate eligible for admission and assessing and awarding marks in the interview. The marks awarded to each candidate in the interview will be added to the marks secured by the candidate in the SSLC public examination. On the basis of the aggregate of marks in the SSLC examination and those obtained at the interview the selection was to be made without any further discretion. The High Court observed that that the method of selection placed serious restrictions on the freedom of the minority institution to admit their own students. It was found that the students of the minority community could not compete with the students belonging to other communities. The applications of students from other communities could not he restricted under law. The result was that the students of minority community for whose benefit the institution was founded, had little chance of getting admission. The High Court held that the Government order prescribing the uniform method of selection could not be applied to minority institutions.
38. In St. Stephen's College (AIR 1992 SC 1630) (supra), it was observed in para 60 of the report that the right to select students for admission is a part of administration. It is indeed an important facet of administration. This power also could be regulated but the regulation must be reasonable just like any other regulation. It should be conducive to the welfare of the minority institution or for the betterment of those who resort to it.
39. In Para 59 of the report in St. Stephen's College (AIR 1992 SC 1630) (supra), it was observed that no such Regulation would be valid, if it has the effect of displacing the minority institution or to completely take away its autonomy or have the effect of depriving the right of minorities to educate their children in their own Institution.
40. Though Article 30 of the Constitution, does not lay down right of minority Institution, but the right is not an absolute right and it can be subjected to reasonable regulation for the benefit of the students as an effective vehicle of education consistent with the national interest, such us to maintain educational character and standard of such Institution e.g. to lay down the qualifications or conditions of service to secure appointments of good teachers to ensure the interest of students, to maintain fair standard of teaching, to ensure efficient and sound administration and to prevent maladministration and to ensure that its fund is spent for the betterment and not for extraneous purpose, and to enforce laws of the land and to prescribe syllabus etc. Such Regulations may be made either by the Legislature or by the executive order. Such Regulations are permissible in so far as they do not restrict the right but facilitate and ensure the better and more effective exercise of that right for the benefit of the Institution. They must allow the Institution to retain its minority character; meaning thereby that no such Regulation would be valid, if it has the effect of displacing the minority Institution, or to completely take away its autonomy or liberty for their own Institution. The Regulation cannot enable the State to require to reserve the seats under the orders of the Government,
41. Although, in St. Stephen's College (AIR 1992 SC 1630) (supra) Hon'ble Supreme Court observed that the State may regulate intake in this category with due regard to the need of the community in the area which the Institution is intended to serve. But, in no case such intake shall exceed 50% of the annual admission. The minority institutions shall make available at least 50 per cent of the annual admission to members of the community other than the minority community. The admission of other community candidates shall be done purely on the basis of merit. But, no where in St. Stephen's case (supra) Hon'ble Supreme Court forbade that the minority Institution should not admit the general category candidates, according to their own admission programme. The contention of the Delhi University that the college admission programme was arbitrary, was not accepted and it was held that the St. Stephen's college was not bound by the impugned circular of the University. Thereafter, in T.M.A. Pai Foundation v. State of Karnataka (AIR 1994 SC 13) (supra) the decision was doubted. During the course of hearing of various writ petitions, certain questions cropped up, which in the opinion of the Bench required answer by a larger Bench. The question which were framed were, as under (Para 30):--
1. What is the meaning and content of the expression 'minorities' in Article 30 of the Constitution of India?
2. What is the meaning of the expression 'Minority Educational Institution' and what are the indicia to determine whether an educational institution is a Minority Educational Institution.
3. Whether the decision of this Court in St. Stephen's case (AIR 1992 SC 1630) is right in saying that Article 30 clothes a Minority Educational Institution with the power to admit students by adopting its own method of selection, and that the State or the affiliating University has no power to regulate admission of students to such Minority Educational Institution even while permitting the Minority Educational Institution, to admit students belonging to the relevant minority to the extent of 50% of its intake capacity.?
42. Referring Bench, which consisted five Hon'ble Judges of the Supreme Court, observed in para 2 of the report:--
'With regard to the third question, we think we must briefly indicate the reasons for reference to the larger Bench. In St. Stephen's College v. University of Delhi (AIR 1992 SC 1630) it is held that it is not permissible for the State or the affiliating University to provide that admissions to Minority Educational Institutions should also be on the basis of merit as determined in a joint/ common entrance test and that the Minority Educational Institution too must draw its students from the common pool on the basis of merit. We entertain serious reservations with respect to the said holding. So long as the Minority Educational Institution is permitted to draw students belonging to that community to the extent of 50% seats, even by going down the merit list, we see no reason why the State/affiliating University cannot stipulate that the general students as well as minority students must all be drawn only from the common merit pool and that even the minority community students must also be admitted on the basis of inter se merit, determined on the basis of common/joint entrance test. Article 30 in our opinion does not clothe a Minority Educational Institution with the power to adopt its own method of selection of students. It is not a part of the minority character of the Institution. The said requirement is but a piece of regulation which the State/affiliating University can prescribe in the interest of fairness and maintenance of standard.'
43. Hon'ble Supreme Court vacated the interim order dated 24-9-1993 staying the admission of students of Minority Educational Institution.
44. In St. Stephen's case (AIR 1992 SC 1630) (supra), too, Hon'ble Supreme Court, directed in the operative portion of the order, that however, those students who had already been admitted pursuant to the direction issued by this Court or the High Court, shall be allowed to complete their courses and any admissions made hitherto, by St. Stephen's College and Allahabad Agricultural Institute, shall not be disturbed.
45. St. Stephen's colleges decision was of the Constitutional Bench consisting of five Hon'ble Judges of the Supreme Court. Certainly, the view, which has been taken in St. Stephen's college, still holds the fields as in T.M.A. Pai (AIR 1994 SC 13) (supra) a bench consisting of five Hon'ble Judges of the Supreme Court, only expressed a doubt about the correctness of the decision and the matter was referred to a Larger Bench; meaning thereby that St. Stephen's college still holds good until and unless, the Larger Bench, itself, express any disagreement with the earlier view. We have been informed that the Larger Bench has started hearing of the case and the judgment may be pronounced within a couple of week.
46. It was asserted by Sri Umesh Chandra, senior counsel, who has appeared on behalf of the University that in St. Stephens college, itself, the right of minority Institution to manage and administer, was subjected to the regulating power of the State. Hence, Isabella Thoburn College, cannot be said to be justified in taking the stand that it is its unfettered right to admit the students in B.Ed, courses for all the seats.
47. It was further submitted that the University, in pursuance of the provisions of Section 25(5) of the State Universities Act, issued a notification dated 7-8-1995 in order to regulate admission test, to the extent of 50% of the seats of the minority Institution and in that regard, constituted a Sub-committee, to ensure maintenance of standard and quality, in accordance with the directions of Hon'ble Supreme Court issued in St. Stephen's college (AIR 1992 SC 1630) (supra). University has carried on, the exercise of admission process of 50 out of 100 seats of the Isabella Thoburn college, on the basis of the merit, which would be declared and by the result of the said test, admission to B.Ed, classes will be made.
48. Petitioner, relying upon the observations of Hon'ble Supreme Court in St. Stephen's college (AIR 1992 SC 1630) asserted that the U. P. State University (Regulation of Admission to courses of instruction for degree in education, in Affiliated, Associated and Constituent Colleges) Order, 1987 and the Government Order No. 131C/XV-11-95-3(101)/92 in practice, impair the right of the petitioner to manage and administer the college, and the aforesaid Regulation and Order, are ultra vires to the provisions of Article 30 of the Constitution of India. The State can prescribe regulation only to ensure the excellence of the Institution, standard of education, but it cannot infringe the right of minority Institution to manage or administer the Institution. Admission to B.Ed, classes, both for minority community, as well as general students is a part of management or administration of the College, which has been protected by Article 30 of the Constitution of India.
49. Although, there is considerable force in the contention of the petitioner, but as the view taken in St. Stephen's college (AIR 1992 SC 1630) has been doubted, by a bench of equal Hon'ble Judges and the matter has been referred to a Larger Bench, we have desisted ourselves by declaring the aforesaid Regulation and Orders, as ultra vires.
50. This Court, initially allowed the authorities of Isabella Thoburn College, to hold the test. As Isabella Thoburn college is a premier educational Institution of the State, which has earned reputation thoughout, this Country, its fairness and justness as well as, standard of education was never questioned but with a view to safeguard its reputation, this Court insisted upon transparency and accountability in the matter of admission. We provided a fool-proof system where it could not be said that the admission suffered from any arbitrariness, but the University authorities refused to abide by our orders and insisted that this Institution had no right to admit the general students; according to its own admission programme. Even in St. Stephen's college (AIR 1992 SC 1630), which was relied upon by the respondents, the contention of the Delhi University was not accepted that the admission programme of St. Stephen's college, was arbitrary. It was further held that St. Stephen's college, was not bound by the circular of the University. It was observed in St. Stephen's college, that the State may regulate the intake in the category of minority Institution in the area, which the Institution has intended to serve, but in no case such intake shall exceed to 50% of the annual admission. In St. Stephen's college (AIR 1992 SC 1630) no imbargo upon the right of the minority Institution was put in, not to admit the remaining 50% of the students of other category i.e. of general students. In St. Stephen's college, Hon'ble Supreme Court, allowed the admissions made by the college.
51. In view of the aforesaid situation, we are of the view that the authorities of Isabel la Thoburn College should be permitted to admit the students belonging to minority as well as general category; atleast for this session. So the studies of those students should not suffer. We have refrained ourselves from quashing the orders, which have been impugned, simply for the reason that the matter is under consideration of the Larger Bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court.
52. From the next session, the authorities of Isabella Thoburn College and the Lucknow University, in making the admission to B.Ed. classes, would be guided by the decision of the Larger Bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court.
53. In view of what has been stated hereinabove, a writ in the nature of mandamus is issued commanding the University authorities, not to create any impediment, hurdle or interference in the matter of admissions to B.Ed, classes, made by the authorities of Isabella Thobum College, Lucknow in any manner, whatsoever, and allow the students of B.Ed, classes admitted by the said college to study the courses and to appear into the examination of this academic session and declare their results.