DENTAL COUNCIL OF INDIA VS BIYANI SHIKSHAN SAMITI & ANR.

DENTAL COUNCIL OF INDIA VS BIYANI SHIKSHAN SAMITI & ANR.- Supreme Court Case / Judgment 2022 - 

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2912  OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.26855 of
2018]
DENTAL COUNCIL OF INDIA  ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
BIYANI SHIKSHAN SAMITI & ANR.     ...RESPONDENT(S)
JUDGMENT
B.R. GAVAI, J.
1. Leave granted. 
2. The present appeal challenges the judgment and order of
the   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   of   Judicature   for
Rajasthan, Bench at Jaipur, dated 24th April, 2018, passed in
D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 3260 of 2017, thereby allowing the
writ   petition   filed   on   behalf   of   the   respondent   No.1­Biyani
1
Shikshan   Samiti   (hereinafter   referred   to   as   “the   respondent
No.1”) and striking down the Notification dated 21st May, 2012
(hereinafter referred to as “the impugned Notification”), vide
which   the   appellant­Dental   Council   of   India   (hereinafter
referred to as “the Council”), had substituted Regulation 6(2)(h)
of the Dental Council of India (Establishment of New Dental
Colleges,   Opening   of   New   or   Higher   Course   of   Studies   or
Training and Increase of Admission Capacity in Dental Colleges)
Regulations, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as “the Regulations”),
on   the   ground   of   the   same   being   inconsistent   with   the
provisions of the Dentists Act, 1948 (hereinafter referred to as
“the said Act”) and also being violative of Articles 14 and 19(1)
(g) of the Constitution of India.  
3. The facts in the present case are not in dispute. 
4. The respondent No. 1 had submitted an application to the
Government of India for grant of permission for establishment
of   dental   college   from   academic   year   2012­2013   on   24th
2
September, 2011.  This was after the Letter of Intent was issued
by   the   State   Government   on   23rd  September,   2011.     The
respondent No. 2 – Union of India, through Secretary, Ministry
of   Health   and   Family   Welfare   (Dental   Education   Section)
[hereinafter   referred   to   as   “the   respondent   No.2”),   noticed
certain deficiencies in the proposal of the respondent No.1 and
vide its letter dated 7th October, 2011, required the respondent
No.1 to cure the said deficiencies.  
5. After exchange of certain communications, on 6th January,
2012,   the   respondent   No.2,   returned   the   application   of   the
respondent No.1 along with demand draft of Rs.6 lakh, on the
ground that deficiencies pointed out were not cured prior to 31st
December, 2011, i.e., the last date for curing the deficiencies.  
6. In  the  meantime,  the  Government   of  Rajasthan  issued
Essentiality Certificate to the respondent No.1 on 11th January,
2012. However, on 17th  February, 2012, the respondent No.2
declined   to   reconsider   the   application/request   of   the
3
respondent No.1, on the grounds stated in its earlier letter,
dated   6th  January,   2012.       As   such,   the   request   of   the
respondent No.1 for reconsideration of its proposal came to be
rejected by the respondent No.2, vide its communication dated
17th February, 2012.  
7. In the meantime, vide the impugned Notification, existing
Regulation   6(2)(h)   of   the   Regulations   was   substituted   by
amended Regulation 6(2)(h) on 21st  May, 2012.   Respondent
No.1 again submitted its fresh application on 28th September,
2012 for academic year 2013­2014.  The same was returned by
the respondent No.2 vide its order dated 31st December, 2012,
on   the   ground   that   the   proposal/application   was   not   in
compliance   with   the   amended   Regulation   6(2)(h)   of   the
Regulations.     On   23rd  January,   2013,   the   respondent   No.1
thereafter wrote a letter to the respondent No.2, stating therein
that   since   Essentiality   Certificate   was   issued   to   it   on   11th
January, 2012, the impugned Notification was not applicable to
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it and requested for reconsideration of its application under the
unamended   Regulation   6(2)(h)   of   the   Regulations.     The
respondent No.2 rejected the application of the respondent No.1
vide its order dated 5th March, 2013.  
8. The respondent No.1 challenged the order passed by the
respondent No.2 rejecting the request for reconsideration of its
application before the learned single judge of the High Court of
Judicature for Rajasthan, Bench at Jaipur, by way of S.B. Civil
Writ Petition No.15090 of 2016.  The respondent No.1 further
sought a direction to reconsider the application submitted by it
on 24th  September, 2011 for establishment of a new dental
college for academic session 2017­2018.   The learned single
judge of the High Court, vide judgment and order dated 3rd
November,   2016,   finding   no   merit   in   the   writ   petition,
dismissed the same. The respondent No.1 thereafter filed a writ
petition before the Division Bench being D.B. Civil Writ Petition
No.   3260   of   2017,   challenging   the   impugned   Notification
5
amending   Regulation   6(2)(h)   of   the   Regulations.     The
respondent   No.1   also   sought   a   prayer   for   direction   to   the
respondent No.2, for reconsidering its application, dated 28th
September, 2012, for establishment of a new Dental College for
academic   session   2018­2019   and   for   subsequent   academic
sessions. By the impugned judgment and order dated 24th April,
2018, the Division Bench of the High Court allowed the said
writ petition by striking down the impugned Notification and
directed the respondent No. 2 to reconsider the case of the
respondent No.1 in the light of the observations made in the
impugned judgment and order.   Being aggrieved thereby, the
present appeal has been preferred by the Council. 
9. We   have   heard   Shri   Gaurav   Sharma,   learned   counsel
appearing   on   behalf   of   the   Council,   Ms.   Aishwarya   Bhati,
learned Additional Solicitor General (“ASG” for short) appearing
on   behalf   of   the   respondent   No.2   and   Ms.   Shobha   Gupta,
learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent No.1.
6
10. Shri Gaurav Sharma, learned counsel, would submit that
the   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   has   grossly   erred   in
allowing the writ petition.  He submits that the Council is an
expert statutory body duly constituted under the said Act.  He
submits   that   the   said   Act   empowers   the   Council   to   make
Regulations   for   various   aspects   concerned   with   Dental
Education,   including   prescribing   requirement   of   minimum
standards.     He   submits   that   the   Council,   after   examining
various aspects, had found it necessary to amend Regulation
6(2)(h) of the Regulations.  He submits that this was done for
providing   better   teaching   facilities   to   the   students   and   for
improving the standards of education.   He submits that the
Division Bench has grossly erred in holding that it was beyond
the powers of the Council to make delegated legislation.   He
submits that, in any case, the finding of the High Court that
the impugned Notification was violative of Articles 14 and 19(1)
(g) of the Constitution of India, is totally erroneous.  
7
11. Ms.   Aishwarya   Bhati,   learned   ASG   also   supports   the
submission made on behalf of the Council.   Relying on the
judgment of this Court in the case of Dental Council of India
vs.   Subharti   K.K.B.   Charitable   Trust   and   Another1
, she
submits that the High Court ought not to have interfered with
the impugned Notification, since the Regulations were made by
the expert body in accordance with the provisions of the said
Act.  
12. Ms. Shobha Gupta, learned counsel appearing on behalf
of the respondent No.1, on the contrary, would submit that the
High Court has rightly quashed the impugned Notification. She
submits that the impugned Notification has no nexus with the
object sought to be achieved.  She submits that there is a huge
shortage of Dentists in the country and therefore, the object of
the legislation should be to encourage establishment of more
Dental Colleges rather than providing a requirement which will
1 (2001) 5 SCC 486
8
restrict the number of new Dental Colleges.   On facts, she
submits that there is no medical college within the vicinity of
100 kms. from the place at which the respondent No.1 proposes
to start a new Dental College.  She submits that the impugned
Notification, therefore, violates the fundamental rights of the
students to take dental education as well as the fundamental
right   of   the   respondent   No.1   to   establish   an   educational
institution under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.  
13. For   considering   the   rival   submissions,   it   will   be
appropriate   to   refer   to   certain   provisions   of   the   said   Act.
Section 3 of the said Act requires the Central Government to
constitute   a   Council   consisting   of   members   named   therein.
Section   10   of  the   said  Act   deals   with   recognition   of  dental
qualifications.     Section   10A   of   the   said   Act   deals   with
permission for establishment of new dental college, new courses
of study, etc.   Sub­section (1) of Section 10A of the said Act
puts   restriction   on   the   establishment   of   an   authority   or
9
institution for a course of study or training which would enable
a student of such course or training to qualify himself for the
grant   of   recognized   dental   qualification;   it   also   imposes   a
restriction   on   opening   a   new   or   higher   course   of   study   or
training, or increase the admission capacity in any course of
study or training, including a post­graduate course of study or
training.     It   is   provided   that   no   person   can   establish   an
authority   or   institution   for   dental   education   and   that   no
authority or institution can open a new or higher course of
study or training, including a post­graduate course of study or
training, or increase its admission capacity without the prior
permission of the Central Government.  Sub­sections (2) to (4)
of Section 10A of the said Act deal with the procedure to be
followed for making an application for permission to start a new
or   higher   course   of   study   or   training   or   increase   of   intake
capacity in any course of study or training.  Sub­section (5) of
Section   10A   of   the   said   Act   is   a   deeming   provision,   which
10
provides that if the Central Government fails to pass an order
on the scheme/application submitted by the applicant within a
period   of   one   year   from   the   date   of   submitting   the
scheme/application, such scheme/application shall be deemed
to have been approved by the Central Government in the form
in which it was submitted.  It also provides that the permission
of the Central Government required under sub­section (1) shall
also be deemed to have been granted. Sub­section (6) of Section
10A of the said Act provides for extension of the period provided
in sub­section (5) by entitling an applicant for the extension of
the   period   for   furnishing   the   particulars   called   for   by   the
Council or by the Central Government.  
14. It will be apposite to reproduce sub­section (7) of Section
10A of the said Act, since the same fell for consideration before
the Division Bench of the High Court while allowing the writ
petition.  It reads thus: 
11
 “10A. Permission for establishment of
new   dental   college,   new   courses   of
study, etc.—(1) …………………………
(2)………………………………………………
xxx
(7)   The   Council,   while   making   its
recommendations   under   clause   (b)   of
sub­section   (3)   and   the   Central
Government,   while   passing   an   order
either   approving   or   disapproving   the
scheme under sub­section (4), shall have
due   regard   to   the   following   factors,
namely:—
(a) whether the proposed authority
or   institution   for   grant   of
recognised dental qualification or
the   existing   authority   or
institution seeking to open a new
or   higher   course   of   study   or
training, would be in a position to
offer the minimum standards of
dental   education   in   conformity
with the requirements referred to
in   Section   16­A   and   the
regulations   made   under   subsection (1) of Section 20;
(b)   whether   the   person   seeking   to
establish   an   authority   or
institution   or   the   existing
authority or institution seeking to
open a new or higher course of
study or training or to increase
12
its   admission   capacity   has
adequate resources;
(c)   whether   necessary   facilities   in
respect   of   staff,   equipment,
accommodation,   training   and
other   facilities   to   ensure   proper
functioning   of   the   authority   or
institution 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   authority   or
institution or course of study or
training   or   as   a   result   of   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
authority or institution or course
of   study   or  training   by   persons
having   the   recognised   dental
qualifications;
13
(f) the requirement of manpower in
the field of practice of dentistry;
and
(g)   any   other   factors   as   may   be
prescribed.”
15. It could thus be seen that the Council, while making its
recommendations and the Central Government, while passing
an order, are required to take into consideration various factors
as are enumerated in clauses (a) to (g) of sub­section (7) of
Section 10A of the said Act.  
16. Section 20 of the said Act empowers the Council, with the
approval of the Central Government, to make Regulations.   It
will be apposite to refer to the relevant part of Section 20 of the
said Act, which reads thus:
“20. Power to make regulations.­(1) The
Council   may,   with   the   approval   of   the
Central   Government,   by   notification   in
the Official Gazette, make regulations not
inconsistent  with the provisions of  this
Act   to   carry   out   the   purposes   of   this
Chapter.
14
(2) In particular and without prejudice
to the generality of the foregoing power
such regulations may­
(a) ……………………………………………
(b) ……………………………………………
xxx xxx xxx
(fb) prescribe   any   other   factors   under
clause   (g)   of   sub­section   (7)   of
section 10A”
17. It could thus be seen from the conjoint reading of clause
(g) of sub­section (7) of Section 10A and clause (fb) of subsection (2) of Section 20 of the said Act that the Council is also
empowered to take into consideration any other factors as may
be   prescribed   and   also   entitled   to   make   Regulations   for
prescribing any other factor under clause (g) of sub­section (7)
of Section 10A.  
18. It   will   also   be   relevant   to   refer   to   the   provision   of
Regulation   6(2)(h)   as   it   existed   prior   to   the   impugned
Notification   and   the   amended   provision   after   the   impugned
Notification was given effect to.  They read thus:
15
“Regulation   6(2)(h)   prior   to   impugned
    Notification dated 21st
   May, 2012
6. Eligibility and qualifying criteria.­ 
(1) …………………………………………..
(2)   The   organizations   under   subregulation  (1) shall  qualify to  apply for
permission to establish a dental college if
the following conditions are fulfilled:­ 
(a) …………………………………………..
(b)  …………………………………………..
xxx
(h) the applicant owns and manages a
General   Hospital   of   not   less   than   100
beds as per Annexure I with necessary
infrastructure   facilities   including
teaching   pre­clinical,   para­clinical   and
allied medical sciences in the campus of
the proposed dental college, 
or
the proposed dental college is located in
the proximity of a Government Medical
College or a Medical College recognised
by the Medical Council of India and an
undertaking of the said Medical College to
the effect that it would facilitate training
to  the  students  of the  proposed  dental
college   in   the   subjects   of   Medicine,
16
Surgery and Allied Medical Sciences has
been obtained, 
or
where no Medical College is available in
the   proximity   of   the   proposed   dental
college, the proposed dental college gets
itself tied up at least for 5 years with a
Government   General   Hospital   having   a
provision of at least 100 beds and located
within   a   radius   of   10   K.M.   of   the
proposed dental college and the tie­up is
extendable till it has its own 100 bedded
hospital in the same premises. In such
cases,   the   applicant   shall   produce
evidence   that   necessary   infrastructure
facilities   including   teaching   pre­clinical,
para­clinical and allied medical sciences
are owned by the proposed dental college
itself; 
Regulation  6(2)(h)   after   the   impugned
    Notification dated 21st
   May, 2012
6. Eligibility and qualifying criteria.­ 
(1) …………………………………………..
(2)   The   organizations   under   subregulation  (1) shall  qualify to  apply for
permission to establish a dental college if
the following conditions are fulfilled:­ 
(a) …………………………………………..
17
(b)  …………………………………………..
xxx
(h) the applicant shall attach its proposed
dental college with a Government/Private
Medical College approved/recognised by
the   Medical   Council   of   India   which   is
located at the distance of 10 kms. by road
from   the   proposed   dental   college   and
produce   evidence   of   the   said   Medical
College   to   the   effect   that   it   would
facilitate training to the students of the
proposed   dental   college   as   per
syllabus/course curriculum prescribed in
respective   undergraduate   and   post
graduate   dental   course   regulations   as
amended from time to time:­ 
Provided that not more than one dental
college shall be attached with the medical
college.” 
19. It   could   thus   be   seen   that   the   change   that   has   been
brought by the impugned Notification is that, though under the
unamended   Regulation   6(2)(h),   an   applicant   was   entitled   to
apply if he/she/it owned and managed a General Hospital of
not less than 100 beds; by the impugned Notification, it has
been   made   mandatory   that   the   applicant   has   to   attach   its
18
proposed Dental College with the Government/Private Medical
College, approved/recognized by the Medical Council of India,
which is located at a distance of 10 kilometers by road from the
proposed Dental College.   The distance of 10 kilometers has
now been increased to 30 kilometers, vide amendment dated 5th
July, 2017.  
20.  The Division Bench of the High Court vide the impugned
judgment and order dated 24th April, 2018, has allowed the writ
petition   and   quashed   the   impugned   Notification   on   three
grounds, viz., 
(i) that it is violative of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution
of India; 
(ii) that it is beyond the scope of the powers of the Council
to make delegated legislation as provided under subsection (7) of Section 10A of the said Act; and 
(iii) that it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of
India,   inasmuch   as   the   Dental   Colleges   established
19
prior to impugned Notification would be permitted to
run   without   attachment   with   Medical   Colleges,
whereas,   the   Dental   Colleges   established   after   the
impugned Notification will be compelled to have such
an attachment with the Medical Colleges.  
21. We find that the learned judges of the Division Bench have
erred on all counts.  
22. It will be relevant to refer to the following observations of
this   Court   in   the   case   of  Indian   Express   Newspapers
(Bombay)  Private  Ltd.  and  others   vs.  Union  of   India  and
others2
.
“75. A piece of subordinate legislation does not
carry the same degree of immunity which is
enjoyed by a statute passed by a competent
Legislature.   Subordinate   legislation   may   be
questioned on any of the grounds on which
plenary legislation is questioned. In addition it
may also be questioned on the ground that it
does not conform to the statute under which it
2 (1985) 1 SCC 641
20
is made. It may further be questioned on the
ground   that   it   is   contrary   to   some   other
statute.   That   is   because   subordinate
legislation must yield to plenary legislation. It
may also be questioned on the ground that it
is   unreasonable,   unreasonable   not   in   the
sense of not being reasonable, but in the sense
that it is manifestly arbitrary.” 
23. It could thus be seen that this Court has held that the
subordinate   legislation   may   be   questioned   on   any   of   the
grounds   on   which   plenary   legislation   is   questioned.     In
addition, it may also be questioned on the ground that it does
not conform to the statute under which it is made. It may
further be questioned on the ground that it is contrary to some
other statute.  Though it may also be questioned on the ground
of unreasonableness, such unreasonableness should not be in
the sense of not being reasonable, but should be in the sense
that it is manifestly arbitrary.  
24. It has further been held by this Court in the said case that
for challenging the subordinate legislation on the ground of
21
arbitrariness, it can only be done when it is found that it is not
in conformity with the statute or that it offends Article 14 of the
Constitution.  It has further been held that it cannot be done
merely on the ground that it is not reasonable or that it has not
taken   into  account  relevant  circumstances  which  the  Court
considers relevant. 
25. The judgment of this Court in the case of Indian Express
Newspapers (Bombay) Private Ltd.  (supra) has been followed
by a three­judge Bench of this Court in the case of  Khoday
Distilleries   Ltd.  and   others   vs.   State   of   Karnataka   and
others3
.     It   will   be   apposite   to   refer   to   the   following
observations of this Court in the said case: 
“13. It is next submitted before us that
the   amended   Rules   are   arbitrary,
unreasonable and cause undue hardship
and, therefore, violate Article 14 of the
Constitution. Although the protection of
Article 19(1)(g) may not be available to
the   appellants,   the   rules   must,
undoubtedly, satisfy the test of Article 14,
3 (1996) 10 SCC 304
22
which   is   a   guarantee   against   arbitrary
action. However, one must bear in mind
that what is being challenged here under
Article   14   is   not   executive   action   but
delegated   legislation.   The   tests   of
arbitrary action which apply to executive
actions   do   not   necessarily   apply   to
delegated   legislation.   In   order   that
delegated legislation can be struck down,
such   legislation   must   be   manifestly
arbitrary;   a   law   which   could   not   be
reasonably expected to emanate from an
authority delegated with the law­making
power.   In   the   case   of Indian   Express
Newspapers (Bombay) (P) Ltd. v. Union of
India [(1985) 1 SCC 641 : 1985 SCC (Tax)
121 : (1985) 2 SCR 287] (SCR at p. 243)
this   Court   said   that   a   piece   of
subordinate legislation does not carry the
same   degree   of   immunity   which   is
enjoyed   by   a   statute   passed   by   a
competent   legislature.   A   subordinate
legislation   may   be   questioned   under
Article   14   on   the   ground   that   it   is
unreasonable; “unreasonable not in the
sense of not being reasonable, but in the
sense   that   it   is   manifestly   arbitrary”.
Drawing a comparison between the law in
England and in India, the Court further
observed   that   in   England   the   Judges
would   say,   “Parliament   never   intended
the authority to make such Rules; they
are   unreasonable   and   ultra   vires”.   In
India,   arbitrariness   is   not   a   separate
23
ground   since   it   will   come   within   the
embargo of Article 14 of the Constitution.
But  subordinate  legislation  must  be so
arbitrary that it could not be said to be in
conformity   with   the   statute   or   that   it
offends Article 14 of the Constitution.”
26. In   the   case   of  State   of   T.N.   and   another   vs.   P.
Krishnamurthy   and   others4
  after  considering  the   law   laid
down by this Court earlier in the cases of  Indian   Express
Newspapers  (Bombay)  Private  Ltd.  (supra),  Supreme  Court
Employees’  Welfare   Association.   vs.   Union   of   India   and
another5
,  Shri   Sitaram   Sugar   Company   Limited   and
another vs. Union of India and others6
, St. Johns Teachers
Training Institute vs. Regional Director, National Council
for   Teacher   Education   and   another7
,  Rameshchandra
Kachardas   Porwal  and   others   vs.   State   of  Maharashtra
4 (2006) 4 SCC 517
5 (1989) 4 SCC 187
6 (1990) 3 SCC 223
7 (2003) 3 SCC 321
24
and   others 8
,  Union   of   India   and   another   vs.   Cynamide
India   Ltd.   and   another9
  and  State   of   Haryana   vs.   Ram
Kishan   and   others10,   this   Court   has   laid   down   certain
grounds,   on   which   the   subordinate   legislation   can   be
challenged, which are as under: 
“Whether   the   rule   is   valid   in   its
entirety?
15. There is a presumption in favour of
constitutionality   or   validity   of   a
subordinate legislation and the burden is
upon him who attacks it to show that it is
invalid. It is also well recognised that a
subordinate legislation can be challenged
under any of the following grounds:
(a) Lack of legislative competence to
make the subordinate legislation.
(b) Violation of fundamental rights
guaranteed under the Constitution of
India.
(c) Violation of any provision of the
Constitution of India.
(d) Failure to conform to the statute
under which it is made or exceeding
the limits of authority conferred by the
enabling Act.
8 (1981) 2 SCC 722
9 (1987) 2 SCC 720
10 (1988) 3 SCC 416
25
(e) Repugnancy to the laws of the
land, that is, any enactment.
(f)   Manifest   arbitrariness/
unreasonableness (to an extent where
the   court   might   well   say   that   the
legislature   never   intended   to   give
authority to make such rules).”
27. In the light of these guiding principles, we will have to
examine the correctness of the findings of the learned judges of
the Division Bench in the impugned judgment and order.  
28. One of the grounds on which the impugned Notification
has been struck down is that it is beyond the scope of powers of
the   Council   under   Section   10A(7)(d)   of   the   said   Act.     The
Division Bench of the High Court has relied on clause (d) of
sub­section (7) of Section 10A of the said Act to come to a
conclusion that clause (d) refers to adequate hospital facilities,
having regard to the number of students likely to attend the
institution.   It has held that a requirement of hospital was
already fulfilled in the pre­amended Regulation 6(2)(h) of the
Regulations. It has further held that clause (d) does not refer to
26
Medical   College.     It   was   therefore   held   that   the   impugned
Notification requiring the Dental Colleges to be attached with
the Government/Private Medical College was beyond the scope
of sub­section (7) of Section 10A of the said Act and, therefore,
inconsistent with the said Act.  
29. We find that the Division Bench has failed to take into
consideration clause (g) of sub­section (7) of Section 10A of the
said Act.  It is to be noted that whereas clauses (a) to (f) of subsection (7) of Section 10A of the said Act deal with various
factors, clause (g) thereof, which can be said to be a residual
clause, enables the Council to take into consideration also any
other factor as may be prescribed.  
30. We further find that the Division Bench of the High Court
has also failed to take into consideration clause (fb) of subsection (2) of Section 20 of the said Act.  A conjoint reading of
these   provisions   would   reveal   that   the   Council   is   also
empowered to take into consideration any other factor as may
27
be prescribed and also to make a Regulation with regard to any
other factor under clause (g) of sub­section (7) of Section 10A of
the   said   Act.     It   could   thus   be   seen   that   it   is   within   the
competence of the Council to make Regulations prescribing any
other conditions, which are otherwise not found in clauses (a)
to   (f)   of   sub­section   (7)   of   Section   10A   of   the   said   Act.
Challenge to the same would be permissible only on the ground
of manifest arbitrariness.   It is also equally settled that the
presumption is always with regard to the validity of a provision.
The burden is on the party who challenges the validity of such
provision.     We   find   that   the   respondent   No.1   has   failed   to
discharge the burden to show that the impugned Notification
suffers from manifest arbitrariness.      
31. Secondly, the Division Bench of the High Court found the
impugned Notification dated 21st  May, 2012 to be violative of
Article 14 of the Constitution, on the ground that the Dental
Colleges established prior to impugned Notification would not
28
be required to be attached with the Medical Colleges, whereas,
the   Dental   Colleges,   established   after   the   impugned
Notification, will be compelled to be attached to such Medical
Colleges.     We   are   of   the   considered   view   that   the   Colleges
established prior to the impugned Notification and the Colleges
established/to be established after the impugned Notification
would form two separate classes.  The differential treatment for
different   classes   would   not   be   hit   by   Article   14   of   the
Constitution of India. The only requirement would be, as to
whether   such   a   classification   has   a   nexus   with   the   object
sought   to   be   achieved   by   the   Act.     For   the   reasons   given
hereinafter, we find that the factors taken into consideration by
the   Council,   while   amending   Regulation   6(2)(h)   of   the
Regulations are relevant factors.  The factors have a nexus with
the object sought to be achieved.   It has been submitted on
behalf   of   the   Council   that   the   existing   recognized   Medical
College already has a facility to impart education to about 500­
29
700   students.   Such   Medical   Colleges   have   a   full­fledged
teaching   faculty.     Such   a   faculty   would   enable   providing   a
proper   education   to   the   students   of   the   Dental   colleges   on
various   aspects   of   pre­clinical,   para­clinical   and   allied
medicine, etc.   The Council has also taken into consideration
the fact that the General Hospitals having bed­capacity of 100
beds or more do not have experts on full­time basis.   They
usually engage the services of consultant doctors, who visit the
Hospital for a very limited period.  The Council has also taken
into consideration the fact that the private hospitals do not
have adequate clinical facilities and/or clinical material and
therefore,   it   is   unlikely   that   they   will   be   able   to   impart
education and training to students.  It has been submitted on
behalf of the Council that the amended Regulation 6(2)(h) of the
Regulations was brought into effect so that it would facilitate
training to the students of the proposed Dental Colleges as per
the   syllabus/course   curriculum   prescribed.     It,   therefore,
30
cannot be said that the Council has taken into consideration
the factors, which are not relevant or germane for the purpose
to be achieved.  The object to be achieved is to provide adequate
teaching   and   training   facilities   to   the   students.     If   in   the
wisdom of the expert body, this can be done by attaching a
Dental College to the already existing Medical College, it cannot
be faulted with.  
32. The reason given for not permitting more than one Dental
College to be attached to the existing recognized Medical College
is that if one Dental College is permitted to be attached to a
recognized Medical College, which is already having 500­750
students in different semesters of their 5­year MBBS course,
the additional students of the Dental College may very well be
absorbed   in   the   facilities   that   are   already   available   in   the
recognized Medical College.  However, if more than one Dental
College is permitted to be attached, it will lead to overcrowding
of students in the Medical College. 
31
33. We are, therefore, of the considered view that the amended
Regulation   cannot   be   said   to   be   one,   which   is   manifestly
arbitrary, so as to permit the Court to interfere with it.  On the
contrary, we find that the amended Regulation 6(2)(h) has a
direct   nexus   with   the   object   to   be   achieved,   i.e.,   providing
adequate teaching and training facilities to the students.  
34. It will be apposite to refer to the following observations of
the   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   in   the   impugned
judgment: 
“We   fail   to   understand   as   to   how   the
earlier provisions, in any manner, were
not sufficient for the object sought to be
achieved.     A   careful   reading   of   the
unamended   Regulation   6(2)(h)   shows
requirement of attachment with General
Hospital   owned   and   managed   by   the
applicant in the campus of the proposed
Dental College.  It was with infrastructure
facilities   including   teaching   pre­clinical,
para­clinical and allied medical sciences.
If we talk about practical training, it
would be more in the hospital, therefore,
the   unamended   provision   of   Regulation
32
6(2)(h) provided both i.e. attachment with
General   Hospital   or   with   a   Medical
College   with   required   facilities   of
teaching.”
35. In this respect, we would gainfully refer to the following
observations of this Court in the case of Maharashtra State
Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education and
another vs. Paritosh Bhupeshkumar Sheth and others11:
“14. ….. whether a rule or regulation or
other type of statutory instrument — is in
excess   of   the   power   of   subordinate
legislation conferred on the delegate has
to be determined with reference only to
the specific provisions contained in the
relevant statute conferring the power to
make the rule, regulation, etc. and also
the object and purpose of the Act as can
be gathered from the various provisions
of   the   enactment.   It   would   be   wholly
wrong for the Court to substitute its own
opinion for that of the Legislature or its
delegate   as   to   what   principle   or   policy
would   best   serve   the   objects   and
purposes   of   the   Act   and   to   sit   in
judgment   over   the   wisdom   and
effectiveness   or   otherwise   of   the   policy
11 (1984) 4 SCC 27
33
laid down by the regulation­making body
and declare a regulation to be ultra vires
merely on the ground that, in the view of
the Court, the impugned provisions will
not help to serve the object and purpose
of the Act. So long as the body entrusted
with   the   task   of   framing   the   rules   or
regulations acts within the scope of the
authority   conferred   on   it,   in   the   sense
that the rules or regulations made by it
have a rational nexus with the object and
purpose of the statute, the court should
not   concern   itself   with   the   wisdom   or
efficaciousness   of   such   rules   or
regulations.”
36. This Court in unequivocal terms has held that it would be
wholly wrong for the Court to substitute its own opinion for
that of the Legislature or its delegate as to what principle or
policy would best serve the objects and purposes of the Act.  It
has been held that it is not permissible for the Court to sit in
judgment over the wisdom and effectiveness or otherwise of the
policy laid down by the regulation­making body and declare a
regulation to be  ultra vires  merely on the ground that, in the
34
view of the Court, the impugned provisions will not help to
serve the object and purpose of the Act. 
37. We find that the observations quoted herein above of the
Division Bench of the High Court are totally contrary to the
view   expressed   by   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Maharashtra
State   Board   of   Secondary   and   Higher   Secondary
Education and another (supra).  
38. The  Division   Bench   of   the  High   Court   has   erred   in
substituting   its   wisdom   with   that   of   the   rule­making   body,
which is an expert body.  In this respect, it will also be apposite
to refer to the observations of this Court in the case of  All
India Council for Technical Education vs. Surinder Kumar
Dhawan  and  others12.   After considering various judgments
on the issue, this Court observed thus:
“16. The courts are neither equipped nor
have   the   academic   or   technical
12 (2009) 11 SCC 726
35
background to substitute themselves in
place of statutory professional technical
bodies   and   take   decisions   in   academic
matters involving standards and quality
of technical education. If the courts start
entertaining   petitions   from   individual
institutions or students to permit courses
of   their   choice,   either   for   their
convenience or to alleviate hardship or to
provide better opportunities, or because
they think that  one course is equal  to
another,   without   realising   the
repercussions   on   the   field   of   technical
education in general, it will lead to chaos
in   education   and   deterioration   in
standards of education.
17. The role of statutory expert bodies on
education and the role of courts are well
defined   by   a   simple   rule.   If   it   is   a
question of educational policy or an issue
involving   academic   matter,   the   courts
keep their hands off.”
39. We are, therefore, of the considered view that it was not
permissible for the Division Bench of the High Court to enter
into an area of experts and hold that the unamended provisions
ought to have been preferred over the amended provisions.  
36
40. That leaves us with the finding of the Division Bench of
the   High  Court  that  the  amended Regulation  is  violative  of
Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. Reliance in this respect is
placed on the Eleven­Judge Constitution Bench judgment of
this Court in the case of T.M.A. Pai Foundation and others
vs. State of Karnataka and others13.  In this respect, it will
be relevant to refer to the following observations of the ElevenJudge Constitution Bench of this Court in the said case:
“54. The right to establish an educational
institution   can   be   regulated;   but   such
regulatory measures must, in general, be
to   ensure   the   maintenance   of   proper
academic   standards,   atmosphere   and
infrastructure   (including   qualified   staff)
and the prevention of maladministration
by those in charge of management. The
fixing of a rigid fee structure, dictating
the   formation   and   composition   of   a
governing body, compulsory nomination
of teachers and staff for appointment or
nominating   students   for   admissions
would be unacceptable restrictions.”
13 (2002) 8 SCC 481
37
41. It can thus clearly be seen that the Constitution Bench
itself   has   held   that   the  right   to   establish   an   educational
institution   can   be   regulated.     However,   such   regulatory
measures must, in general, be to ensure the maintenance of
proper academic standards, atmosphere and infrastructure and
the prevention of maladministration. 
42. The impugned Notification, undoubtedly, is made in order
to ensure the maintenance of proper academic standards and
infrastructure and as such, the judgment of the Constitution
Bench of this Court in the case of T.M.A. Pai Foundation and
others  (supra),   rather   than   supporting   the   case   of   the
respondent No.1, would support the case of the Council.  
43. We   further   find   that   the   impugned   judgment   of   the
Division Bench of the High Court is also not sustainable on the
ground of judicial propriety.  The respondent No.1 had already
filed a writ petition being S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 15090 of
2016, challenging the action of the Council and the respondent
38
No.2 in returning the application of the respondent No.1 for
grant of recognition to new Dental College and for a direction to
reconsider its application submitted on 24th September, 2011.
The said writ petition was filed in the year 2016.  The said writ
petition was dismissed by the learned single judge of the High
Court by the judgment and order dated 3rd  November, 2016.
After the said writ petition was rejected on 3rd November, 2016,
the respondent No.1 filed the present writ petition being D.B.
Civil Writ Petition No.3260 of 2017 before the Division Bench of
the High Court on 1st March, 2017.  In the said writ petition,
the prayer was for challenging the validity of the impugned
Notification and for a direction to reconsider the proposal of the
respondent No.1.   The impugned Notification could have very
well been challenged in the earlier writ petition, which was filed
in the year 2016 before the learned single judge of the High
Court.  However, having failed in that writ petition before the
learned single judge, the respondent No.1 filed another writ
39
petition before the Division Bench of the High Court.  Though
one   of   the   prayers   challenges   the   validity   of   the   impugned
Notification, another prayer claims for reconsideration of its
proposal.   The said prayer has been granted by the Division
Bench of the High Court by its impugned judgment and order
dated 24th April, 2018.  It could thus be seen that the prayer for
reconsideration of the proposal submitted by the respondent
No.1, which was already rejected by the learned single judge of
the High Court vide order dated 3rd  November, 2016 in S.B.
Civil Writ Petition No.15090 of 2016, has been renewed in the
fresh writ petition filed in the year 2017 and granted by the
Division Bench of the High Court.  
44. We, therefore, find that on the ground of judicial propriety
also the Division Bench of the High Court ought not to have
entertained the writ petition for a prayer, which already stood
rejected. In that view of the matter, the impugned judgment
40
and order dated 24th April, 2018 passed by the Division Bench
of the High Court is not sustainable. 
45. In   the   result,   the   appeal   is   allowed.     The   impugned
judgment   and   order   dated   24th  April,   2018   passed   by   the
Division Bench of the High Court is quashed and set aside.  The
D.B. Civil Writ Petition No.3260 of 2017 filed by the respondent
No.1   before   the   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   stands
dismissed.  No order as to costs.
46. Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of. 
…..….......................J.
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]
…….........................J.       
[B.R. GAVAI]
NEW DELHI;
APRIL 12, 2022
41

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