New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the central government, the University Grants Committee (UGC) and fashion institute Fashionista on a plea by a student alleging that it was running illegally and playing with the careers of innocent students.
The plea sought direction to blacklist Fashionista, The School of Fashion Technology, declare it legal and take penal action against those managing it as it had got its affiliation illegally.
Justice G.S. Sistani, issuing notice to central government through the ministry of human resource development, also asked the Delhi government, the Distance Education Council (DEC), the Mahatma Gandhi University, Meghalaya, the UGC and the institute to file their responses within six weeks and posted the matter for July 12.
The petition, filled by Mohammad Sajid, a student at the institute, alleged that the institute claimed that it has technical collaboration with the Meghalaya varsity, and is running various degree and diploma courses without approval or affiliation either from the UGC or DEC or the Delhi government.
The institute does not have any legal sanctity or validity to run the courses, it contended.
Sajid said that he applied for the admission to a diploma course in interior design for the academic session 2012-14 and deposited the demanded fee of over Rs.1 lakh. However, when he started attending classes, he came to know that the claims made by the institute in the advertisement as well as in the prospectus are absolutely false, baseless and wrong.
"It was further informed that the institute is well equipped with studio and laboratories, library and well qualified teaching staff.
"But, in fact, there was no regular qualified staff, hardly any audio visual CDs, documentary collection, the library had hardly any relevant books or magazines, the studio and laboratory was ill-equipped, as most of the necessary instruments and equipment were either not available and those which were available are not usable as not functioning properly. No printed study material was provided to the students by the institute," the petition stated.
Advocate R.K. Anand and Sitab Ali Chaudhary, appearing for Sajid, contended that even the syllabus, course contents and curriculum has not been provided to the students till date.
The institute does not have any rule or regulation regarding taking the fee and other charges from the institute and seems to have the one and only one aim to extort money from the poor and innocent students by making false assurances and promises, it was alleged.
The plea questioned how the DEC granted recognition to run distance education programmes within a period of four months of the establishment of Mahatama Gandhi University (MGU).
"Private universities (like MGU) cannot grant affiliation or approval to any institute/college and in any eventuality, they cannot establish off campus centres outside the state even with the approval of the UGC," submitted the petition.
The petition also sought directions for UGC to cancel the status of the MGU for wilful and deliberate breach of the conditions.
It further prayed that the fashion institute be restrained from taking further admissions, and initiation of vigilance inquiry against DEC, MGU and the institute and for punishing those illegally running the institute as well as those who granted approval to it.