CENTRAL COUNCIL FOR INDIAN MEDICINE VS KARNATAKA AYURVEDA MEDICAL COLLEGE AND OTHERS

CENTRAL COUNCIL FOR INDIAN  MEDICINE VS KARNATAKA AYURVEDA MEDICAL  COLLEGE AND OTHERS 

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2892  OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 4618 of 2021]
CENTRAL COUNCIL FOR INDIAN 
MEDICINE        ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
KARNATAKA AYURVEDA MEDICAL 
COLLEGE AND OTHERS    ...RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2895   OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 4447 of 2021]
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  2894  OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 3742 of 2021]
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2893  OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 4346 of 2021]
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  2897  OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 20181 of 2021]
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2896   OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 20453 of 2021]
J U D G M E N T
B.R. GAVAI, J.
1. Leave granted in all the Special Leave Petitions. 
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2. The present appeals challenge the following:
(i) judgment dated 21st December 2020 passed by
the   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   of
Karnataka in Writ Appeal Nos. 541 of 2020
(EDN­REG)   and   542   of   2020   (EDN­REG),
thereby dismissing the writ appeals filed by the
present   appellant­Central   Council   for   Indian
Medicine, which was in turn filed, challenging
the order dated 24th  September 2020 passed
by the learned Single Judge in Writ Petition
No.50772   of   2018   (EDN­REG­P),   thereby
allowing   the   writ   petition   filed   by   the
respondent   No.1   herein­Karnataka   Ayurveda
Medical College; and
(ii) judgment dated 24th  September 2020 passed
by the learned Single Judge of the High Court
of Karnataka in Writ Petition Nos. 50828 of
2018   (EDN­EX)   thereby   allowing   the   writ
petition filed by the petitioner therein and Writ
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Petition   No.50772   of   2018   (EDN­REG­P),
thereby allowing the writ petition filed by the
respondent   No.1   herein­Karnataka   Ayurveda
Medical College.
3. For the sake of convenience, we refer to the facts as are
found in civil appeal arising out of SLP(C) No.4618 of 2021.
4. The respondent No.1 herein had applied to the respondent
No.4­State   Government,   respondent   No.3­Rajiv   Gandhi
University   of   Health   Sciences   and   the   appellant   herein   for
permission to start Post­Graduate course for the academic year
2014­15.   The appellant granted permission to start five new
Post  Graduate  Ayurvedic  disciplines  with   five  seats  each   in
accordance with the then prevalent Indian Medicine Central
Council (Post­Graduate Ayurveda Education) Regulations, 2012
(hereinafter referred to as “2012 Regulations”).   These 2012
Regulations   came  to  be  superseded  by  the  Indian   Medicine
Central   Council   (Post­Graduate   Ayurveda   Education)
Regulations,   2016   (hereinafter   referred   to   as   “2016
Regulations”).
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5. As per 2016 Regulations, it was a requirement that an
institution should possess a Central Research Laboratory and
an Animal House.   The 2016 Regulations provided that the
Animal House could be either owned by the institution or it
could   be   in   collaboration   with   any   other   institution.
Accordingly,   the   respondent   No.1   collaborated   with   Sri
Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Ayurveda, Udupi,
which permitted respondent No.1 the usage of Animal House
set up by it.  As such, the appellant and the respondent No.2­
Union of India, continued permission to respondent No.1 for
the academic years 2016­17 and 2017­18.  The Union of India
directed the appellant to inspect the facilities available with the
respondent No.1 in accordance with the relevant Regulations
and submit its recommendations and the inspection report to
it.  This was to be done by the end of March 2018 so that the
matter pertaining to grant of permission for the academic year
2018­19   could   be   considered   before   the   start   of   the   next
academic year.  The appellant inspected the facilities available
with the respondent No.1 on 2nd February 2018 and again on
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23rd­24th  May 2018.   On the basis of the said inspection, the
Union of India issued a notice dated 3rd  August 2018, which
was received by respondent No.1 on 16th August 2018.  Vide the
said notice dated 3rd  August 2018, certain deficiencies were
pointed out. The respondent No.1 was given an opportunity of
hearing on 24th  August 2018 before the designated Hearing
Committee.   After the hearing, the Union of India, vide order
dated   5th  September   2018,   rejected   the   permission   to
respondent   No.1   to   admit   students   to   the   Post   Graduate
courses for the academic year 2018­19 on the ground of nonavailability of Central Research Laboratory and Animal House.
However, vide the said order dated 5th  September 2018, the
Union of India granted permission to respondent No.1 to admit
students to Under Graduate (BAMS) Course with an intake of
50 seats for the academic year 2018­19 subject to it fulfilling
the deficiencies mentioned therein by 31st December 2018.
6. The respondent No.1 therefore filed a writ petition being
Writ   Petition   No.   50772   of   2018   (EDN­REG­P)   before   the
learned Single Judge of the High Court of Karnataka. It is to be
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noted   that   in   the   interregnum,   the   Union   of   India   granted
permission to the respondent No.1 to admit students for the
Post Graduate Course for the academic year 2019­20.   The
learned Single Judge, relying on the judgments of the Division
Bench of the High Court of Karnataka in the cases of Bahubali
Vidyapeeths JV Mandal Gramin Ayurvedic Medical College
v.   Union   of   India   and   Others1 and  Central   Council   of
Indian Medicine v. Union of India and Others2
, wherein the
Division Bench held that if the permission was granted for the
subsequent years, the benefit should enure in respect of the
previous year also, allowed the said writ petition.   The same
was carried in an appeal by the present appellant before the
Division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka, which was
dismissed vide the impugned judgment.  Hence, the appellant
approached this Court by way of the present appeals.
7. This Court, while issuing notice in the present matter,
recorded   the   statement   of   Smt.   Aishwarya   Bhati,   learned
Additional   Solicitor   General   (for   short   “ASG”),   appearing   on
1 Writ Petition No. 107076/2018 (EDN­ADM) dated 01.07.2019
2 Writ Appeal No. 736/2011
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behalf   of   the   appellant   that   the   students   who   have   been
granted admission in the respondent No.1 college for the Post
Graduate Ayurveda courses for the academic year 2018­19, will
not be disturbed.   The learned ASG, however, requested that
the question of law arising in these matters needs consideration
by this Court.  As such, by the said order dated 19th April 2021,
this Court issued notice.
8. We   have   heard   Smt.   Aishwarya   Bhati,   learned   ASG
appearing   on   behalf   of   the   appellant,   Smt.   Madhavi   Divan,
learned ASG appearing on behalf of the Union of India and Shri
Chinmay Deshpande, learned counsel appearing on behalf of
respondent No.1.
9. Smt. Bhati submitted that the said 2016 Regulations were
made by the appellant in exercise of the powers conferred by
clause (j) of Section 36 of the Indian Medicine Central Council
Act, 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the “said Act”) with the
previous sanction of the Central Government.  She submitted
that   the   2016   Regulations   prescribe   the   requirements   of
minimum standard for grant of permission.  The learned ASG
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submitted   that   unless   the   institution   applying   possess   the
required   minimum   standards,   it   would   not   be   entitled   for
permission.   It is submitted that the minimum standards, as
required, are to be fulfilled for the particular academic year and
in the event, such minimum standards are not fulfilled for the
relevant academic year, the institution would not be entitled for
permission.   The learned ASG submitted that merely because
for   the   subsequent   academic   year,   the   requirements   were
fulfilled, it cannot efface the deficiencies that were found in the
previous academic year.  It is therefore submitted that the view
taken by the High Court of Karnataka, that if the permission is
granted   for   a   subsequent   academic   year,   it   would   also   be
available for the previous year and such an institute would be
entitled for permission even for the earlier year in which the
deficiencies were found to have existed, does not lay down a
correct   proposition   of   law.     She   submitted   that   though   a
judgment of this Court in the case of Ayurved Shastra Seva
Mandal  and   Another   v.   Union   of   India  and  Others3
, was
pointed out to the learned Single Judge and the Division Bench
3 (2013) 16 SCC 696
8
of the High Court of Karnataka, they have failed to apply the
law laid down in that judgment and as such, the judgment and
order of the Division Bench and the Single Judge are liable to
be set aside.
10. Smt. Divan, learned ASG appearing on behalf of the Union
of India, also supported the submissions made on behalf of the
present appellant.
11. Shri Deshpande, learned counsel appearing on behalf of
respondent   No.1,   on   the   contrary,   submitted   that   the   view
taken by the Division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka is
taken on the basis of its earlier judgment and as such, no
interference is warranted in the present appeal.
12. For appreciating the rival submission, it will be necessary
to refer to the background in which the said Act came to be
enacted.  The Union of India, after noticing that the minimum
standards for admission, duration of courses of training, details
of curricula and syllabi of studies and the title of the degree or
diploma, vary from State to State and even from institution to
institution   in   the   same   State,   had   appointed   various
9
Committees to consider problems relating to the Indian system
of   medicine   and   Homoeopathy.     The   said   Committees   had
recommended that a statutory Central Council, on the lines of
the Medical Council of India for modern system of medicine,
was a pre­requisite for the proper development of these systems
of medicine.   It was noticed that though some States have
constituted State Boards or Councils, either by legislation or by
executive orders for the purpose of registration of practitioners
in the various systems of Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy as
well as recognition of qualifications, there was, however, no
central legislation for the regulation of practice or for minimum
standards of training and conduct of examinations in these
systems of medicine on an all­India basis.  It was also noticed
that in the absence of such legislation, there was no effective
control over the large number of unregistered practitioners in
these systems.  In June 1966, the Central Council of Health, in
its   13th  meeting,   while   discussing   the   policy   on   Ayurvedic
education,   has   recommended   the   setting   up   of   a   Central
Council   for   Indian   systems   of   Medicine   to   lay   down   and
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regulate   standards   of   education   and   examinations,
qualifications   and   practice   in   these   systems.   In   this
background, the said Act came to be enacted on 21st December
1970.
13. As per the provisions of Section 3 of the said Act, the
Central Government was required to constitute, for the purpose
of the said Act, a Central Council consisting of the Members
specified   therein.   Chapter   IIA   of   the   said   Act   deals   with
“Permission for new Medical College, Course, etc.”.  The earlier
Chapter IIA of the said Act came to be substituted by new
Chapter   IIA   containing   Sections   13A   to   13C   by   the   Indian
Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Act, 2003 (Act No. 58 of
2003).  It will be relevant to refer to Sections 13A to 13C of the
said Act, which read thus:
“13A.   Permission   for   establishment   of   new
medical   college,   new   course   of   study,   etc.—(1)
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or
any other law for the time being in force,—
(a) no person shall establish a medical
college; or
(b) no medical college shall—
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(i) open a new or higher course of
study or training, including a postgraduate course of study or training,
which   would   enable   a   student   of
such   course   or   training   to   qualify
himself   for   the   award   of   any
recognised medical qualification; or
(ii) increase its admission  capacity
in any course of study or training
including a postgraduate course of
study or training, 
except with the previous permission of the Central
Government   obtained   in   accordance   with   the
provisions of this section.
Explanation   1.—For  the  purposes of   this  section,
“person”   includes   any   University   or   a   trust,   but
does not include the Central Government.
Explanation   2.—For  the  purposes of   this  section,
“admission capacity”, in relation to any course of
study or training, including post­graduate course of
study or training, in a medical college, means the
maximum number of students as may be fixed by
the Central Government from time to time for being
admitted to such course or training.
(2) Every person or medical college shall, for the
purpose of obtaining permission under sub­section
(1), submit to the Central Government a scheme in
accordance with the provisions of sub­section (3)
and the Central Government shall refer the scheme
to the Central Council for its recommendations.
(3) The scheme referred to in sub­section (2), shall
be in such form and contain such particulars and
be preferred in such manner and accompanied with
such fee, as may be prescribed.
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(4)   On   receipt   of   a   scheme   from   the   Central
Government   under   sub­section   (2),   the   Central
Council may obtain such other particulars as may
be considered necessary by it from the person or the
medical college concerned, and thereafter, it may,—
(a) if the scheme is defective and does not
contain   necessary   particulars,   give   a
reasonable opportunity to the person or
medical college concerned for making a
written   representation   and   it   shall   be
open to such person or medical college to
rectify the defects, if any, specified by the
Central Council;
(b) consider the scheme, having regard to
the factors referred to in sub­section (8)
and submit it to the Central Government
together   with   its   recommendations
thereon within a period not exceeding six
months from the date of receipt of the
reference from the Central Government.
(5) The Central Government may, after considering
the  scheme  and recommendations  of the  Central
Council under sub­section (4) and after obtaining,
where necessary, such other particulars as may be
considered   necessary   by   it   from   the   person   or
medical college concerned and having regard to the
factors referred to in sub­section (8), either approve
the scheme with such conditions, if any, as it may
consider necessary or disapprove the scheme and
any such approval shall constitute as a permission
under sub­section (1):
Provided that no scheme shall be disapproved by
the   Central   Government   except   after   giving   the
person or medical college concerned a reasonable
opportunity of being heard:
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Provided further that  nothing in this sub­section
shall prevent any person or medical college whose
scheme   has   not   been   approved   by   the   Central
Government   to   submit   a   fresh   scheme   and   the
provisions   of   this   section   shall   apply   to   such
scheme as if such scheme had been submitted for
the first time under sub­section (2).
(6) Where, within a period of one year from the date
of   submission   of   the   scheme   to   the   Central
Government   under   sub­section   (2),   no   order   is
communicated by the Central Government to the
person or medical college submitting the scheme,
such   scheme   shall   be   deemed   to   have   been
approved by the Central Government in the form in
which   it   was   submitted,   and,   accordingly,   the
permission   of   the   Central   Government   required
under sub­section (1) shall also be deemed to have
been granted.
(7)   In   computing   the   time­limit   specified   in   subsection (6), the time taken by the person or medical
college   concerned   submitting   the   scheme,   in
furnishing any particulars called for by the Central
Council,  or by the  Central  Government,  shall  be
excluded.
(8)   The   Central   Council   while   making   its
recommendations under clause (b) of sub­section (4)
and   the   Central   Government   while   passing   an
order, either approving or disapproving the scheme
under sub­section (5), shall have due regard to the
following factors, namely:—
(a) whether the proposed medical college
or the existing medical college seeking to
open a new or higher course of study or
training, would be in a position to offer
the   minimum   standards   of   medical
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education as  prescribed by the  Central
Council under Section 22;
(b)   whether   the   person   seeking   to
establish a medical college or the existing
medical college seeking to open a new or
higher course of study or training or to
increase   its   admission   capacity   has
adequate financial resources;
(c) whether necessary facilities in respect
of   staff,   equipment,   accommodation,
training,   hospital   or   other   facilities   to
ensure proper functioning of the medical
college or conducting the new course of
study or training or accommodating the
increased admission capacity have been
provided or would be provided within the
time­limit specified in the scheme;
(d)   whether   adequate   hospital   facilities,
having regard to the number of students
likely to attend such medical college or
course   of   study   or   training   or   the
increased admission capacity have been
provided or would be provided within the
time­limit specified in the scheme;
(e)   whether   any   arrangement   has   been
made   or   programme   drawn   to   impart
proper   training   to   students   likely   to
attend such medical college or the course
of  study  or training  by  persons  having
recognised medical qualifications;
(f) the requirement of manpower in the
field of practice of Indian medicine in the
college;
(g)   any   other   factors   as   may   be
prescribed.
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(9) Where the Central Government passes an order
either approving or disapproving a scheme under
this   section,   a   copy   of   the   order   shall   be
communicated   to   the   person   or   medical   college
concerned.
13B. Non­recognition of medical qualifications in
certain   cases.—(1)   Where   any   medical   college   is
established without the previous permission of the
Central   Government   in   accordance   with   the
provisions   of   Section   13­A,   medical   qualification
granted to any student of such medical college shall
not   be   deemed   to   be   a   recognised   medical
qualification for the purposes of this Act.
(2) Where any medical college opens a new or higher
course of study or training including a postgraduate
course  of   study   or  training   without   the  previous
permission   of   the   Central   Government   in
accordance   with   the   provisions   of   Section   13­A,
medical qualification granted to any student of such
medical   college   on   the   basis   of   such   study   or
training shall   not   be  deemed  to  be  a  recognised
medical qualification for the purposes of this Act.
(3)   Where   any   medical   college   increases   its
admission   capacity   in   any   course   of   study   or
training   without   the   previous   permission   of   the
Central   Government   in   accordance   with   the
provisions   of   Section   13­A,   medical   qualification
granted to any student of such medical college on
the basis of the increase in its admission capacity
shall   not   be   deemed   to   be   a   recognised   medical
qualification for the purposes of this Act.
13C.   Time   for   seeking   permission   for   certain
existing  medical  colleges.—(1) If any person has
established a medical college or any medical college
has   opened   a   new   or   higher   course   of   study   or
training or increased the admission capacity on or
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before the commencement of the Indian Medicine
Central   Council   (Amendment)   Act,   2003,   such
person or medical college, as the case may be, shall
seek, within a period of three years from the said
commencement,   permission   of   the   Central
Government in accordance with the provisions of
Section 13­A.
(2) If any person or medical college, as the case may
be, fails to seek permission under sub­section (1),
the provisions of Section 13­B shall apply, so far as
may be, as if permission of the Central Government
under Section 13­A has been refused.”
14. The perusal of sub­section (1) of Section 13A of the said
Act, which is a non­obstante clause, would show that no person
is   entitled   to   establish   a   medical   college   except   with   the
previous   permission   of   the   Central   Government   obtained   in
accordance with the provisions of the said Section.  Similarly,
no medical college can open a new or higher course of study or
training, including a post­graduate course or training, which
would enable a student of such course or training to qualify
himself for the award of any recognized medical qualification
without the previous permission of the Central Government.
Likewise, there is also a prohibition for the medical colleges to
increase   its   admission   capacity   in   any   course   of   study   or
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training, including a post­graduate course of study or training
except with the previous permission of the Central Government
obtained in accordance with the provisions of the said Section.
Explanation 1 to the said Section clarifies that the “person”
stated therein includes any University or a trust, but does not
include the Central Government.   Explanation 2 to the said
Section   clarifies   that   the   “admission   capacity”   means   the
maximum number of students as may be fixed by the Central
Government   from   time   to   time   for   being   admitted   to   such
course or training.
15. Sub­section (2) of Section 13A of the said Act provides that
a person or a medical college, who desires to seek permission
as provided under sub­section (1) of Section 13A of the said
Act,   shall   submit   a   scheme   to   the   Central   Government   in
accordance with the provisions of sub­section (3) of Section 13A
of the said Act.  It further provides that the Central Government
shall   refer   the   scheme   to   the   Central   Council   for   its
recommendations.  
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16. Sub­section (3) of Section 13A of the said Act provides that
the scheme shall be in such form and contain such particulars
and be preferred in such manner and accompanied with such
fee, as may be prescribed.  
17. Sub­section (4) of Section 13A of the said Act provides that
on receipt of a scheme from the Central Government under
sub­section   (2)   of   Section   13A   of   the   said   Act,   the   Central
Council   may   obtain   such   other   particulars   as   may   be
considered   necessary   by   it   from   the   person   or   the   medical
college concerned.   It further provides that if the scheme is
defective and does not contain necessary particulars, it shall
give a reasonable opportunity to the person or medical college
concerned   for   making   a   written   representation.     It   further
provides that it shall be open to such person or medical college
to rectify the defects, if any, specified by the Central Council.  It
also requires the Central Council to consider the scheme with
regard to the factors referred to in sub­section (8) of Section
13A   of   the   said   Act   and   submit   the   same   to   the   Central
Government together with its recommendations thereon within
19
a period not exceeding six months from the date of receipt of
the reference from the Central Government.
18. It can be seen from perusal of sub­section (5) of Section
13A of the said Act, that the Central Government may, after
considering the scheme and recommendations of the Central
Council under sub­section (4) of Section 13A of the said Act
and after obtaining, where necessary, such other particulars as
may be considered necessary by it from the person or medical
college concerned and having regard to the factors referred to in
sub­section (8) of Section 13A of the said Act, either approve
the scheme with such conditions, if any, as it may consider
necessary or disapprove the scheme.   It further provides that
any such approval shall constitute as a permission under subsection (1) of Section 13A of the said Act.  The first proviso to
sub­section (5) of Section 13A of the said Act provides that no
scheme   shall   be   disapproved   by   the   Central   Government,
without   giving   the   person   or   medical   college   concerned,   a
reasonable opportunity of being heard.  The second proviso to
sub­section (5) of Section 13A of the said Act also enables the
20
person   or   medical   college,   whose   scheme   has   not   been
approved   by   the   Central   Government,   to   submit   a   fresh
scheme.   It further provides that the provisions of the said
Section shall apply to such scheme as if such scheme had been
submitted for the first time under sub­section (2) of Section 13A
of the said Act.
19. Sub­section (6) of Section 13A of the said Act, which is a
deeming provision, provides that if no order is communicated
by the Central Government to the person or medical college
submitting the scheme, within a period of one year from the
date of submission of the scheme, such a scheme shall be
deemed to have been approved by the Central Government in
the form in which it was submitted.  It further provides that the
permission   of   the   Central   Government   required   under   subsection (1) of Section 13A of the said Act shall also be deemed
to have been granted.  
20. Sub­section (7) of Section 13A of the said Act provides that
in   computing   the   time­limit   specified   in   sub­section   (6)   of
Section 13A of the said Act, the time taken by the person or
21
medical college concerned submitting the scheme, in furnishing
any particulars called for by the Central Council, or by the
Central Government, shall be excluded.
21. The perusal of sub­section (8) of Section 13A of the said
Act   would   show   that   the   Central   Council   while   making   its
recommendations under clause (b) of sub­section (4) of Section
13A of the said Act and the Central Government while passing
an order, either approving or disapproving the scheme under
sub­section (5) of Section 13A of the said Act, shall have due
regard to the factors mentioned therein.  Various factors have
been mentioned in clauses (a) to (g) including as to whether the
proposed medical college or the existing medical college seeking
to open a new or higher course of study or training, would be in
a position to offer the minimum standards of medical education
as prescribed by the Central Council under Section 22 of the
said Act.  It could be seen that clauses (a) to (f) of sub­section
(8) of Section 13A of the said Act relate to specific factors to be
taken   into   consideration,   whereas   clause   (g)   thereof   is   a
residuary clause, which permits the Central Council and the
22
Central   Government   to   take   into   consideration   any   other
factors that may be prescribed.
22. Sub­section (9) of Section 13A of the said Act provides that
where   the   Central   Government   passes   an   order   either
approving or disapproving a scheme under the said Section, a
copy   of   the   order   shall   be   communicated   to   the   person   or
medical college concerned.  
23. At this stage, it will also be relevant to refer to Section 22
of the said Act, which reads thus:
“22. Minimum  standards  of education in Indian
medicine.—(1) The Central Council may prescribe
the   minimum   standards   of   education   in   Indian
medicine, required for granting recognised medical
qualifications   by   Universities,   Boards   or   medical
institutions in India.
(2)   Copies   of   the   draft   regulations   and   of   all
subsequent amendments thereof shall be furnished
by the Central Council to all State Governments and
the   Central   Council   shall,   before   submitting   the
regulations or any amendment thereof, as the case
may be, to the Central Government for sanction,
take into consideration the comments of any State
Government received within three months from the
furnishing of the copies as aforesaid.
(3) Each of the Committees referred to in clauses
(a), (b) and (c) of sub­section (1) of Section 9 shall,
from time to time, report to the Central Council on
the efficacy of the regulations and may recommend
23
to the Central Council such amendments thereof as
it may think fit.”
24. It can thus be seen that under sub­section (1) of Section
22 of the said Act, the Central Council is entitled to prescribe
the   minimum   standards   of   education   in   Indian   medicine,
required   for   granting   recognized   medical   qualifications   by
Universities,   Boards   or   medical   institutions   in   India.     Subsection (2) of Section 22 of the said Act would reveal that the
copies   of   the   draft   regulations   and   of   all   subsequent
amendments thereof shall be furnished by the Central Council
to   all   State   Governments.     It   further   provides   that   before
submitting the regulations or any amendment thereof, to the
Central   Government   for   sanction,   the   Central   Council   shall
take into consideration the comments of any State Government
received within three months from the furnishing of the copies
as aforesaid.   Sub­section (3) of Section 22 of the said Act
provides that each of the Committees referred to in clauses (a)
to (c) of sub­section (1) of Section 9 of the said Act, shall, from
time to time, report to the Central Council on the efficacy of the
24
regulations and may recommend to the Central Council such
amendments thereof as it may think fit.
25. Section 36 of the said Act empowers the Central Council
“to make regulations” to carry out the purposes of the said Act,
which reads thus:
“36. Power to make regulations.— (1) The Central
Council   may,   with   the   previous   sanction   of   the
Central Government, by notification in the Official
Gazette, make regulations generally to carry out the
purposes of this Act, and, without prejudice to the
generality   of   this   power,   such   regulations   may
provide for—
(a) ….……..
(b) …………
(c) …………
(d) …………
(e) …………
(f) …………
(g) …….......
(ga) ………..
(gb) any other factor under clause (g) of
sub­section (8) of Section 13­A; 
(h) the appointment, powers, duties and
procedure of inspectors and visitors;
(i) the courses and period of study and of
practical training to be undertaken, the
subjects   of   examination   and   the
standards   of   proficiency   therein   to   be
25
obtained,   in   any   University,   Board   or
medical   institutions   for   grant   of
recognised medical qualifications;
(j)   the   standards   of   staff,   equipment,
accommodation,   training   and   other
facilities   for   education   in   Indian
medicine;
(k) ………..
(l) …………
(m) ……….
(n) ………..
(o) ………..
(p) ………..
(2)   The   Central   Government   shall   cause   every
regulation made under this Act to be laid, as soon
as may be after it is made, before each House of
Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period
of   thirty   days   which   may   be   comprised   in   one
session or in two or more successive sessions, and
if,   before   the   expiry   of   the   session   immediately
following   the   session   or   the   successive   sessions
aforesaid,   both   Houses   agree   in   making   any
modification in the regulation or both Houses agree
that   the   regulation   should   not   be   made,   the
regulation shall thereafter have effect only in such
modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be;
so,   however,   not   any   such   modification   or
annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity
of anything previously done under that regulation.”
26. It can be seen that such regulations are to be made by the
Central   Council   with   the   previous   sanction   of   the   Central
26
Government. Clause (gb) of sub­section (1) of Section 36 of the
said Act enables the Central Council to make regulations with
regard to any other factor as provided under Clause (g) of subsection (8) of Section 13A of the said Act.   Clause (i) of subsection (1) of Section 36 of the said Act enables the Central
Council   to   make   regulations   providing   for   the   courses   and
period of study and of practical training to be undertaken, the
subjects   of   examination   and   the   standards   of   proficiency
therein etc.  It can further be seen from the perusal of Clause (j)
of sub­section (1) of Section 36 of the said Act that the Central
Council, with the previous sanction of the Central Government,
is entitled to make regulations prescribing for the standards of
staff, equipments, accommodation, training and other facilities
for education in Indian medicine. Sub­section (2) of Section 36
of the said Act requires the Central Government to cause every
regulation made under the said Act to be laid, as soon as after
it is made, before each House of Parliament.   It reserves the
power   of   both   the   Houses   of   Parliament   to   make   any
modification in the regulations.  
27
27. It could thus clearly be seen that Section 13A read with
Sections 22 and 36(1)(j) of the said Act provides a complete
scheme for establishment of medical college, opening a new or
higher course of study or training, including a post­graduate
course of study or training, and also increasing the admission
capacity.   From the perusal of the scheme of the aforesaid
provisions, it is clear that no person is entitled to establish a
medical   college   except   with   the   previous   permission   of   the
Central Government.  Similarly, no medical college can open a
new or higher course of study or training, including a postgraduate   course   of   study   or   training   without   the   previous
sanction   of   the   Central   Government.     Likewise,   no   medical
college can increase its admission capacity in any course of
study or training, including a post­graduate course of study or
training.  Sub­sections (2) to (5) of Section 13A of the said Act
prescribe a detailed procedure for submitting a scheme and
consideration thereof by the Central Council and the Central
Government.  It also provides for in­built safeguards inasmuch
as the principles of natural justice are provided at two stages,
28
one before the Central Council and another before the Central
Government.  The second proviso to sub­section (5) of Section
13A of the said Act also enables a person or medical college
whose   scheme   has   not   been   approved   by   the   Central
Government, to again submit a fresh scheme, which is required
to be considered as if the same is made for the first time under
sub­section (2) of Section 13A of the said Act.  Sub­section (6)
of Section 13A of the said Act provides that when no order is
communicated within a period of one year from the date of
submission   of   the   scheme,   by   a   deeming   provision,   such
scheme shall stand approved and it will be deemed that the
permission of the Central Government as required under subsection (1) of Section 13A of the said Act has been granted.
Sub­section   (7)   of  Section   13A   of  the  said  Act   provides  for
exclusion of the period for the time taken by the person or
medical college concerned to furnish any particulars called by
the   Central   Council,   or   by   the   Central   Government.     Subsection (8) of Section 13A of the said Act provides the factors to
be taken into consideration.  Sub­section (9) of Section 13A of
29
the   said   Act   provides   for   the   communication   of   the   order
approving or disapproving the scheme, to the person or medical
college concerned.
28. The statutory scheme is thus clear that no medical college
can open a new or higher course of study or training, including
a post­graduate course, except with the previous permission of
the Central Government.   Prior to such a permission being
granted, the procedure as prescribed under Section 13A has to
be followed.
29. The legislative intent is further clarified by the provisions
made in Section 13B of the said Act.  Sub­section (1) of Section
13B of the said Act provides that where any medical college is
established   without   the   previous   permission   of   the   Central
Government in accordance with the provisions of Section 13A of
the said Act, medical qualification granted to any student of
such medical college shall not be deemed to be a recognized
medical qualification for the purposes of the said Act.  Likewise,
sub­section (2) of Section 13B of the said Act provides that
where any medical college opens a new or higher course of
30
study or training including a post­graduate course of study or
training   without   the   previous   permission   of   the   Central
Government in accordance with the provisions of Section 13A of
the said Act, medical qualification granted to any student of
such medical college on the basis of such study or training
shall not be deemed to be a recognised medical qualification for
the   purposes   of   the   said   Act.  Likewise,   sub­section   (3)   of
Section 13B of the said Act provides that where any medical
college increases its admission capacity in any course of study
or   training   without   the   previous   permission   of   the   Central
Government in accordance with the provisions of Section 13A of
the said Act, medical qualification granted to any student of
such   medical   college   on   the   basis   of   the   increase   in   its
admission capacity shall not be deemed to be a recognised
medical qualification for the purposes of the said Act.
30. It   could   further  be   seen   that  the   legislature   itself   has
taken care of a situation, where any person has established a
medical college or any medical college has opened a new or
higher course of study or training, or increased the admission
31
capacity prior to the commencement of the Indian Medicine
Central Council (Amendment) Act, 2003. It has provided that
such person or medical college, as the case may be, shall seek,
within a period of three years from the said commencement,
permission of the Central Government in accordance with the
provisions of Section 13A of the said Act. 
31. The impugned judgment of the Division Bench and the
Single Judge of the High Court of Karnataka, so also the other
judgments of the High Court of Karnataka, which are relied on
by   the   Division   Bench,   do   not   take   into   consideration   the
scheme of Section 13A of the said Act.  
32. It could further be relevant to notice Regulation 3(1)(a) of
the 2016 Regulations, which reads thus:
“3.  Requirements of Minimum Standard to grant
of permission­
(1)(a)   The   Ayurveda   colleges   established   under
Section 13A and existing under Section 13C of the
Act   and   their   attached   hospitals   shall   fulfill   the
requirements   of   minimum   standard   for
infrastructure and teaching and training facilities
referred to in the Regulations 4 to 11 up to the 31st
December of every year for consideration of grant of
permissions   for   undertaking   admissions   in   the
coming academic session.” 
32
33. It could thus clearly be seen, that Regulation 3(1)(a) of the
2016   Regulations   specifically   provides   that   the   Ayurveda
colleges   established   under   Section   13A   and   existing   under
Section 13C of the said Act and their attached hospitals shall
fulfill the requirements of minimum standard for infrastructure
and   teaching   and   training   facilities   referred   to   in   the
Regulations   4  to   11  up  to  31st  December   of  every  year  for
consideration   of   grant   of   permissions   for   undertaking
admissions in the coming academic session.   It is thus clear
that   in   order   to   be   eligible   for   grant   of   permission   for
undertaking admissions in a particular academic session, the
institution must fulfill the requirements of minimum standard
as on 31st  December of the earlier year.   For example, if the
institution   is   seeking   grant   of   permission   for   undertaking
admissions for the academic session 2022­23, it must have
fulfilled   the   requirements   of   minimum   standard   as   on   31st
December 2021.  It could thus be seen that the finding that the
permission granted for a subsequent academic year would also
enure to the benefit of earlier academic year though the said
33
institution was not fulfilling the criteria of minimum standard,
is totally erroneous.
34. We further find that the High Court has also erred in not
correctly applying the law laid down by this Court in the case of
Ayurved Shastra Seva Mandal (supra).  In the said case, the
petitioner Ayurved Shastra Seva Mandal had approached the
Bombay   High   Court   being   aggrieved   by   the   refusal   by   the
Government   of   India   to   grant   permission  to   the   colleges   to
admit   students   for   the   academic   year   2011­12.   Such
permission   was   refused   on   account   of   various   deficiencies
relating to infrastructure and teaching staff, which had not
been   rectified   and   brought   into   line   with   the   minimum
standard norms.
35. It is further to be noted that in paragraph (10) of the said
judgment,   this   Court   had   specifically   observed   that   the
petitioner therein tried to impress upon that the deficiencies
had already been removed and that is why permission was
specifically given for the admission of students for the academic
year 2012­13.  It was therefore urged that there was no reason
34
for withholding the permission for the academic year 2011­12.
This Court specifically noticed that a large number of students
had applied for admission for the academic year 2011­12 and
that too with the leave of this Court.  However, this Court found
that   the   privilege   granted   to   the   candidates   could   not   be
transformed into a right to be admitted in the course for which
they had applied.  While dismissing the petition and refusing to
interfere   with   the   judgment   of   the   High   Court,   this   Court
observed thus:
“17. It   is   not   for   us   to   judge   as   to   whether   a
particular institution fulfilled the necessary criteria
for being eligible to conduct classes in the discipline
concerned or not. That is for the experts to judge
and according to the experts the institutions were
not geared to conduct classes in respect of the year
2011–2012. It is also impractical to consider the
proposal of the colleges of providing extra classes to
the new entrants to bring them up to the level of
those who have completed the major part of the
course   for   the   first   year.   We   are   not,   therefore,
inclined   to   interfere   with   the   orders   of   the   High
Court impugned in these special leave petitions and
the same are, accordingly, dismissed.”
36. It   can   be   seen   from   the   conjoint   reading   of   various
paragraphs of the said judgment that the contention that since
the   deficiencies   stood   already   removed   and   the   permission
35
granted for the academic year 2012­13, the said permission
should   also   be   construed   as   having   been   granted   for   the
academic year 2011­12, was not accepted by this Court.
37. We are at pains to say that though the judgment in the
case of Ayurved Shastra Seva Mandal (supra) was specifically
relied on by the appellant herein, the learned Single Judge and
the Division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka have chosen
to rely on the earlier judgments of the Division Bench of the
same High Court rather than a judgment of this Court.  
38. It will further be relevant to note that this Court in the
case   of  Ayurved   Shastra   Seva   Mandal  (supra)   has   also
referred to the amended provisions of the said Act.  It will be
relevant to refer to paragraphs (5) to (9) of the said judgment,
which read thus:
“5. As far as medical institutions are concerned, the
procedure   relating   to   the   recognition   of   medical
colleges as well as admission therein was governed
by the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970
(hereinafter referred to as “the 1970 Act”), which
was amended in 2003, to incorporate Sections 13­A,
13­B and 13­C, which provided the procedure for
establishing new colleges and making provision for
seeking prior permission of the Central Government
36
in   respect   of   the   same.   The   amendment   also
attempted   to   bring   in   reforms   in   the   existing
colleges by making it mandatory for them to seek
permission from the Central Government within a
period of three years from their establishment.
6. Having   regard   to   the   said   amendments,   the
Central   Council   of   Indian   Medicine,   with   the
previous   sanction   of   the   Central   Government,
framed   Regulations,   in   exercise   of   the   powers
conferred on it by Section 36 of the 1970 Act. The
said Regulations were named as the Establishment
of New Medical College, Opening of New or Higher
Course   of   Study   or   Training   and   Increase   of
Admission   Capacity   by   a   Medical   College
Regulations, 2003 (hereinafter referred to as “the
2003 Regulations”). Regulation 6(1)(e) of the 2003
Regulations provides for applications to be made by
a medical college owning and managing a hospital
in  Indian  medicine containing not less than  100
beds with necessary facilities and infrastructure.
7. The Central Council of Indian Medicine further
framed Regulations in 2006 called as the Indian
Medicine   Central   Council   (Permission   to   Existing
Medical   Colleges)   Regulations,   2006   (hereinafter
referred to as “the 2006 Regulations”). Regulation
5(1)(d) of the 2006 Regulations provides that the
applicant   College   would   have   to   be   owning   and
managing   a   minimum   of   100   beds   for
undergraduate   courses   and   150   beds   for
postgraduate courses, which conforms to the norms
relating   to   minimum   bed   strength   and   bed
occupancy for in­patients and the number of outpatients.
8. When the 2003 Amendment was effected to the
1970 Act, three years' time was given to the existing
colleges   to   remove   the   deficiencies.   The   2006
37
Regulations provided a further period of two years
to   remove   the   deficiencies   and   even   relaxed   the
minimum standards in that regard. Even after the
expiry of two years, the colleges were given further
opportunities   to   remove   the   shortcomings   by
granting   them   conditional   permission   for   their
students for the academic years 2008–2009, 2009–
2010 and 2010–2011. It is only obvious that the
minimum   standards   were   insisted   upon   by   the
Council   to   ensure  that   the   colleges   achieved   the
minimum standards gradually.
9. It   may   be   noted   that   there   was   little   or   no
response from the institutions concerned in regard
to   removal   of   the   deficiencies   in   their   respective
institutions and it is only when the notices were
given to shut down the institutions that they woke
up from their slumber and approached the courts
for relief. In many of these cases, permission was
given by the courts to the institutions concerned to
accept admission forms, but they were directed not
to pass any orders thereupon till the decision of this
Court in these special leave petitions.”
39. We are, therefore, of the considered view that the learned
Single Judge as well as the Division Bench have grossly erred
in not taking into consideration the scheme of the said Act so
also   the   judgment   of   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Ayurved
Shastra Seva Mandal (supra).
38
40. In   the   result,   the   appeals   are   allowed.     The   common
judgment and order dated 21st December 2020, delivered by the
Division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka in Writ Appeal
No. 542 of 2020 (EDN­REG) and Writ Appeal No.541 of 2020
(EDN­REG), and the judgment and order dated 24th September
2020 passed by the Single Judge in Writ Petition No. 50772 of
2018 (EDN­REG­P) and Writ Petition No. 50828 of 2018 (EDNEX) are quashed and set aside.  The writ petitions filed by the
original writ petitioners in the High Court are dismissed.  
41. Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of in
the above terms.  No order as to costs. 
……..….......................J.
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]
…….........................J.
[B.R. GAVAI]
NEW DELHI;
APRIL 11, 2022.
39

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