PHARMACY COUNCIL OF INDIA VERSUS RAJEEV COLLEGE OF PHARMACY AND ORS

PHARMACY COUNCIL OF INDIA  VERSUS RAJEEV COLLEGE OF PHARMACY  AND ORS

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE/ORIGINAL JURISDICTION 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6681 OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.19671 of
2021]
PHARMACY COUNCIL OF INDIA     ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
RAJEEV COLLEGE OF PHARMACY 
AND ORS.  ...RESPONDENT(S)
WITH 
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 6682­6683 OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.1387­1388
of 2022]
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.564 OF 2022
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.565 OF 2022
 CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 6684­6685 OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.14295­
14296 of 2021]
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6686 OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.1050 of
2022]
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CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6687 OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.1887 of
2022]
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6688 OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.2570 of
2022]
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6690 OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.4862 of
2022]
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6689 OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.5673 of
2022]
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.406 OF 2022
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6691 OF 2022
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.13792 of
2022]
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.563 OF 2022
JUDGMENT
B.R. GAVAI, J.
1. Leave granted in all the Special Leave Petitions.  
2
2. The   appeals   filed   by   the   Pharmacy   Council   of   India
(hereinafter   referred   to   as   “PCI”)   mainly   challenge   the   (i)
judgments dated 9th  November 2021, passed by the Division
Bench of the High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru in Writ
Appeal No. 746­748 of 2020; (ii) judgment dated 7th  March
2022, passed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court of
Delhi at New Delhi in Writ Petition (Civil) No.175 of 2021; and
(iii) judgment dated 22nd  April 2022, passed by the learned
Single Judge of the High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur in
Writ Petition (Civil) No.3766 of 2021.   Several interim orders
passed by these Courts during the pendency of these matters
are also subject to challenge in some of the appeals.  They are
also being disposed of by the present judgment.    
3. By the said judgments and orders, the aforesaid three
High Courts of Karnataka, Delhi and Chhattisgarh had allowed
the writ petitions filed by the respondents­institutions, which
were,   in   turn,   filed   challenging   the
Resolutions/communications   of  the  appellant­PCI  dated  17th
3
July 2019 and 9th  September 2019 and dismissed the Writ
Appeals   filed   by   the   PCI.     Vide   Resolution/Communication
dated 17th July 2019, the appellant­PCI had resolved to put a
moratorium   on   the   opening   of   new   pharmacy   colleges   for
running Diploma as well as Degree courses in pharmacy for a
period of five years beginning from the Academic Year 2020­
2021.   Vide Resolution/communication dated 9th  September
2019,   the   aforesaid   moratorium   was   modified,   thereby
exempting   its   application   to   (i)   Government   Institutions;   (ii)
Institutions   in   North   Eastern   region;   and   (iii)   States/Union
Territories where the number of institutions offering D. Pharm
and   B.   Pharm   courses   (both   combined)   is   less   than   50.
Additionally, vide the said Resolution/communication dated 9th
September 2019, the institutions which had applied for opening
colleges offering D.Pharm and/or B. Pharm courses for 2019­
2020 academic session were allowed to apply for conducting
diploma as well as degree courses in Academic Session 2020­
2021 and existing approved pharmacy institutions were allowed
4
to increase the intake capacity as per PCI norms and/or to
start additional pharmacy course(s). 
4. The writ petitions filed by the Institutions before the three
High Courts challenged the validity of the said moratorium and
also prayed for a direction to be issued to the appellant­PCI to
grant   approval   for   opening   new   pharmacy   institutions
imparting pharmacy courses for the ensuing academic year of
2022­2023 on the basis of inspection conducted by the PCI in
February 2020 and to not insist  on fresh applications from the
institutions pursuant to the PCI’s circular of 3rd  July 2022,
which was issued in compliance of the interim order of this
Court dated 31st  May 2022 passed in Special Leave Petition
(Civil) No.4862 of 2022.
5. We   have   heard   Shri   Maninder   Singh,   learned   Senior
Counsel   appearing   on   behalf   of   the   appellant­PCI   and   Shri
Rakesh   Dwivedi   and   Shri   Vinay   Navare,   learned   Senior
Counsel, Shri Amit Pai, Shri Sanjay Sharawat, Shri Siddharth
5
R. Gupta, and Shri Shivam Singh, learned counsel appearing
on behalf of their respective respondent(s). 
6. Shri   Maninder   Singh,   learned   Senior   Counsel   would
submit that the High Courts have totally erred in interfering
with   the   Resolution   dated   17th  July   2019   passed   by   the
appellant­PCI.  He submits that the perusal of the preamble of
the Pharmacy Act, 1948 (hereinafter referred to as “the said
Act”) read with Sections 3, 10 and 12 thereof would clearly
reveal that the appellant­PCI has a power to regulate in the
field of pharmacy education.   He submits that the power to
regulate would also include a power to put a moratorium for a
certain   period.     The   learned   Senior   Counsel   submits   that
perusal   of   Section   3   of   the   said   Act   would   reveal   that   the
Central Council of the PCI consists of experts from various
fields including teachers in the subject concerning pharmacy,
elected by the University Grants Commission (“UGC” for short),
persons   possessing   a   degree   or   diploma   in   and   practicing
pharmacy   or   pharmaceutical   chemistry,   nominated   by   the
6
Central Government; a representative of the Medical Council of
India; representatives of States elected from the members of the
State   Council,   so   also   a   member   to   represent   each   State
nominated by the State Government, who shall be a registered
pharmacist.     He,   therefore,   submits   that   the   Body,   which
consists of so many experts from various fields, is a Body which
is   competent   to   take   decisions   in   the   best   interests   of   the
pharmacy education.  
7. Shri   Maninder   Singh,   learned   Senior   Counsel   submits
that the decision was taken by the appellant­PCI after a subcommittee of experts was appointed to study the issue.   It is
submitted   that   after   the   sub­committee   recommended
moratorium   in   view   of   mushrooming   growth   of   pharmacy
colleges, the Central Council of the appellant­PCI, after taking
into   consideration   all   these   aspects,   recommended   a
moratorium.  He submits that this was done in order to prevent
a   situation   which   would   lead   to   uncontrolled   growth   of
pharmacy colleges, resultantly producing many pharmacists,
7
who will be without any employment.  It is submitted that these
factors have not been taken into consideration by the High
Courts in the impugned judgments.  
8. Shri Maninder Singh further submitted that the perusal of
the Communication of the Government of India, Ministry of
Health & Family Welfare dated 22nd  April 2022 would reveal
that the Central Government was consulted as required under
Section 10 of the said Act.  
9. Shri Maninder Singh further submitted that the power to
regulate would also include a power to prohibit.   He relies on
the judgments of this Court in the case of  Madhya  Bharat
Cotton   Association   Ltd.   vs.   Union   of   India  and  another1
and   in   the   case   of  Star   India   Private   Limited   vs.
Department   of   Industrial   Policy   and   Promotion   and
others2
in this regard.  
1 AIR 1954 SC 634
2 (2019) 2 SCC 104
8
10. Shri Maninder Singh would further submit that a Division
Bench of the Bombay High Court, Aurangabad Bench, in a
batch of writ petitions being Writ Petition No. 4919 of 2020
(Sayali   Charitable   Trust’s   College   of   Pharmacy   vs.  The
Pharmacy Council of India, decided on 6th November 2020)
along with connected matters has upheld the moratorium.  He
submits that, however, the said judgment of the Bombay High
Court has not been considered by all the three High Courts of
Karnataka, Delhi and Chhattisgarh.   
11. Shri Maninder Singh submits that, having regard to the
scheme of the said Act and the purpose sought to be achieved
therein, it will have to be held that it is not only the jurisdiction
of   the   PCI,   but   its   duty   and   responsibility   to   impose   a
moratorium so as to prevent mushrooming growth of pharmacy
colleges   in   the   country.     Learned   Senior   Counsel   further
submits that the power to impose such regulations has been
upheld   by   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Jawaharlal   Nehru
Technological University Registrar vs. Sangam Laxmi Bai
9
Vidyapeet   and   others3
.    He submits that the facts in the
present case and the facts in the case of Jawaharlal Nehru
Technological   University   Registrar   (supra)  are   totally
identical.   It is, therefore, submitted that the view taken by all
the three High Courts is liable to be set aside and it is required
to be held that the moratorium imposed, being in the larger
public interest, is legal and valid.  
12. Shri Maninder Singh relies on the judgment of this Court
in   the   case   of  Jigya   Yadav   (Minor)   (Through
Guardian/Father   Hari   Singh)   vs.   Central   Board   of
Secondary   Education   and   others4
  in   support   of   his
submission that the moratorium could also be imposed by a
resolution of the appellant­PCI and it would be a law as per
Article 13 of the Constitution of India. 
13. Per contra, Shri Rakesh Dwivedi, learned Senior Counsel,
submitted that it is the fundamental right of the respondent –
3 (2019) 17 SCC 729
4 (2021) 7 SCC 535
10
Institutions to establish educational institutions under Article
19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.  He relies on the judgments
of  this   Court  in   the   cases   of  T.M.A.   Pai   Foundation   and
others   vs.   State   of   Karnataka   and   others5
,  Islamic
Academy of Education and another vs. State of Karnataka
and   others6
,  and  P.A.   Inamdar   and   others   vs.   State   of
Maharashtra and others7
in that regard.  
14. Shri Rakesh Dwivedi submits that there is no doubt that
reasonable restrictions could be imposed on the fundamental
rights.  However, the burden lies on the State to establish that
the restrictions so imposed are reasonable and have a nexus
with the object to be achieved.  He submits that the appellantPCI   has   totally   failed   to   discharge   the   said   burden.     It   is
submitted   that   the   restriction,   which   is   in   the   nature   of
absolute   prohibition,   is   totally   unreasonable,   arbitrary   and
5 (2002) 8 SCC 481 [Para 18 to 25]
6 (2003) 6 SCC 697 [Para 120]
7 (2005) 6 SCC 537 [Para 92]
11
discriminatory.  It is submitted that it has no nexus with the
object to be achieved.  
15. Shri Rakesh Dwivedi further submits that the impugned
communications of the appellant­PCI are arbitrary.  To buttress
his   submission   that   the   impugned   communications   of   the
appellant­PCI   are   arbitrary,   Shri   Rakesh   Dwivedi   submitted
that the appellant­PCI itself has exempted Government Colleges
from the moratorium imposed, which has in effect added about
34000 seats in the field of pharmacy.  He further submits that
the   impugned   communication   exempts   the   North   Eastern
region   from   its   operation.     As   such,   the   power   has   been
exercised in a manifestly arbitrary manner.  It is submitted that
the only justification given is that if there is no moratorium, it
will lead to unemployment.  He submits that if such a ground is
to be accepted, then all the colleges imparting education in
different   areas   like   Medicine,   Law,   Engineering,   Technology,
etc. will have to be banned. 
12
16. Shri Rakesh Dwivedi further submitted that, unless the
power to ban is specifically provided in the statute, such a
power cannot be exercised.  In any case, he submitted that if
such a power was to be exercised, the same could have been
exercised   only   by   framing   a   Regulation   in   accordance   with
Section 10 of the said Act.  He further submitted that for such
a Regulation to be valid, the following four factors are required
to be complied with:
(i) The   copies   of   the   draft   Regulations   should   be
furnished   by  the   Central   Council  to   all   the   State
Governments and before the Central Council submits
the   Education   Regulations   to   the   Central
Government for approval, the comments of the State
Governments are to be invited and considered;
(ii) That such Regulations must have approval of the
Central Government;
13
(iii) In view of Section 10(4), such Regulations will have
to be published in the Official Gazette;
(iv) In view of sub­section (4) of Section 18 of the said
Act, such Regulations have to be laid before each
House of Parliament.
17. Shri Vinay Navare, learned Senior Counsel submitted that
the perusal of Section 3 of the said Act would reveal that the
Central   Council   of   the   appellant­PCI   consists   essentially   of
persons who are connected with the practice of Pharmacy.  He
submits   that   the   moratorium   is   imposed   with   a   mala   fide
intention by those persons who are already connected with the
profession of Pharmacy so as to create a monopoly in the field.
He submits that if the composition of the Central Council of the
appellant­PCI   under   the   said   Act   is   compared   with   the
composition   of   the   Council   under   the   All   India   Council   for
Technical   Education   Act,   1987   (hereinafter   referred   to   as
“AICTE Act”), it would reveal that the Council under the AICTE
14
Act has a wider spectrum.  It also consists of the persons not
connected with Technical Education.  
18. Shri   Navare   further   submitted   that   the   powers   under
Section 10 of the AICTE Act are much wider than the powers of
the Central Council under Section 10 of the said Act.  
19. Shri Navare further submitted that the Resolution which
is sent to the State Government is only for the purpose of
intimation and, therefore, there is no sufficient compliance of
requirement under Section 10(3) of the said Act.  
20. Relying on the judgment of this Court in the case of V.T.
Khanzode   and   others   vs.   Reserve   Bank   of   India   and
another8
, Shri Navare submits that since the appellant­PCI is a
statutory   body,   its   powers   would   be   circumscribed by   the
statutory provisions.   He submitted that since the power to
impose prohibition is not provided under the said Act, such an
exercise is wholly impermissible in law.  
8 (1982) 2 SCC 7
15
21. He further submits that there can be no restrictions on
fundamental   rights   except   by   a   valid   law   enacted   by   the
legislature.   In this respect, he relies on the judgment of this
Court in the case of Modern School vs. Union of India and
others9
22. Shri Navare further submits that the words used in subsection (1) of Section 10 of the said Act are “subject to the
approval of the Central Government”. He, therefore, submits
that unless there is an approval of the Central Government
with regard to the moratorium, the same would not be valid in
law.  He relies on the judgments of this Court in the cases of
Padubidri   Damodar   Shenoy   vs.   Indian   Airlines   Limited
and   another10, and  Vijay   S.   Sathaye   vs.   Indian   Airlines
Limited and others11  in support of this proposition.  
23. Shri Amit Pai, learned counsel also submitted that the
impugned communications are totally beyond the powers of the
9 (2004) 5 SCC 583
10 (2009) 10 SCC 514
11 (2013) 10 SCC 253
16
appellant­PCI and, as such, no interference is warranted with
the impugned judgments and orders of the High Courts. 
24. Shri Sanjay Sharawat, learned counsel submitted that the
decision   to   impose   moratorium   has   been   taken   by   the
appellant­PCI without conducting any survey.   No material is
placed on record in support of its decision.   He submits that
the decision to impose moratorium is wholly arbitrary.   He
further   submits   that   the   appellant­PCI   has   acted   in   an
arbitrary manner.   On one hand, it has imposed ban and on
the   other   hand   it   has   granted   permission   to   about   2500
institutions to start pharmacy courses.  As such, it has acted in
a totally arbitrary and discriminatory manner. 
25. Shri Siddharth Gupta, learned counsel, submitted that
the   impugned   communications   are   totally   discriminatory   in
nature and tend to create a monopoly in respect of the existing
colleges inasmuch as they have been permitted to expand the
number of existing seats.  He further submits that the cap of 50
colleges  imposed   for   all   the   States   is   totally   arbitrary.     He
17
submits that the cap for a highly populated State like Uttar
Pradesh and for a small State like Goa is the same.  He submits
that in the State of Chhattisgarh, 7 colleges have been granted
permission on the ground that  they were in the pipeline.   As
such, there is no consistency in the policy of the appellant­PCI.
He relies on the judgments of this Court in the case of Index
Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre vs. State of
Madhya Pradesh and others12 in support of his submission. 
26. Relying   on   the   judgment   of   this   Court   in   the   case   of
Modern Dental College and Research Centre and others vs.
State   of   Madhya   Pradesh   and   others13,   he   submits   that
unless   the   impugned   restriction   satisfies   the   test   of
proportionality of restrictions, the same would not be tenable in
law.   He submits that it will be necessary to find out as to
whether the limitation on constitutional rights is for a purpose
which is reasonable and necessary in a democratic society.  He
submits   that   applying   the   said   test,   the   impugned
12 2021 SCC OnLine SC 318
13 (2016) 7 SCC 353
18
communication which imposed a total ban for a period of five
years does not stand the proportionality test.  
27. Shri  Shivam Singh, learned counsel submitted that the
decision­making process is totally vitiated.   He submits that
taking   into   consideration   the   pandemic   situation,   the
Authorities ought to have considered that there is a need to
have a larger number of Pharmacy colleges.   However, this
aspect has been totally ignored by the appellant­PCI.  
28. All   the   three   High   Courts,   i.e.,   Karnataka,   Delhi   and
Chhattisgarh,   while   allowing   the   writ   petitions   filed   by   the
respondent­institutions   and   quashing   and   setting   aside   the
Resolutions/communications   of   the   Central   Council   of   the
appellant­PCI, have, in a nutshell, held thus:
(i) That the right to establish educational institutions is
a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)
(g) of the Constitution of India;
19
(ii) That there can be reasonable restrictions on such a
right.   However, such a restriction can be imposed
only by law enacted by the competent legislature;
(iii) The   Resolution/communication   dated   17th  July
2019, vide which the moratorium was imposed is an
executive instruction and could not be construed as
a law and, therefore, the moratorium imposed by an
executive instruction is not sustainable in law.  
29. Apart   from   that,   the   learned   Single   Judge   of   the
Karnataka High Court has further found that the petitioners
before the High Court were entitled to establish colleges on the
principles of promissory estoppel and legitimate expectation.
The learned Single Judge of the Karnataka High Court as well
as the learned Single Judge of the Delhi High Court have also
held that the Resolution of the appellant­PCI was violative of
Article   14   of   the   Constitution   of   India   inasmuch   as   the
government   institutions   and   the   institutions   in   the   North
Eastern   region   were   exempted   from   the   applicability   of   the
20
moratorium.  It was found that such an act was discriminatory.
It was further found that the cap of 50 Pharma institutes per
State was also arbitrary inasmuch as the appellant­PCI does
not take into consideration the fact that the population of the
States varies from State to State and, as such, there could not
have been a uniform formula of capping 50 pharmacy institutes
for every State.  
30. Undisputedly,   the   Central  Council   of   the   appellant­PCI
vide its Resolution/communication dated 17th  July 2019 has
resolved as under:
“RESOLUTION
Taking into consideration the availability
of   sufficient   qualified   pharmacist
workforce,   the   House   unanimously
resolved   to   put   a   moratorium   on   the
opening   of   new   pharmacy   colleges   for
running   Diploma   as   well   as   Degree
course in pharmacy for a period of five
years beginning from the academic year
2020­2021.   This moratorium shall not
be applicable in the North Eastern region
of the country where there is a shortage
of pharmacy colleges.”
21
31. It can thus be seen that vide the said Resolution, the
Central Council resolved to put a moratorium on the opening of
new pharmacy colleges for running Diploma as well as Degree
course in pharmacy for a period of five years beginning from the
academic year 2020­2021.  The said Resolution dated 17th July
2019 was modified in the 107th meeting of the Central Council
of the appellant­PCI held on 5th  and 6th  August 2019.   The
relevant part of the modified Resolution reads thus:
 “1252.4 In   view   of   it,   it   was
unanimously   decided   that
moratorium on the opening of
new   pharmacy   colleges   for
running   Diploma   as   well   as
Degree course in pharmacy for
a period of five years beginning
from the academic year 2020­
2021   will   be   subject   to
following conditionsa) The   moratorium   will   not
apply to the Government
institutions.
b) The   moratorium   will   not
apply   to   the   institutions
in North Eastern region.
c) The   moratorium   will   not
apply to the States/Union
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Territories   where   the
number of D. Pharm and
B.   Pharm   institutions
(both   combined)   is   less
than 50. 
d) The   institutions   which
had   applied   for   opening
D.   Pharm   and/or   B.
Pharm colleges for 2019­
20   academic   session
either to the PCI or to the
AICTE   and   the   proposal
was   rejected   or   not
inspected   due   to   some
reason or the other will be
allowed to apply for 2020­
21 academic session and
this   relaxations   is   given
only for one year i.e. for
2020­21   academic
session only.
e) Existing   approved
pharmacy institutions will
be   allowed   to   apply   for
increase   in   intake
capacity as per PCI norms
and/or to start additional
pharmacy course(s).”
32. It is thus clear, and in all fairness, not even disputed by
the   appellant­PCI,   that   the   moratorium   was   issued   by   the
Central Council of the appellant­PCI in its executive powers
23
and not by framing any regulation, as provided under Sections
10 and 18 of the said Act.  
33. The moot question, therefore, that requires consideration,
is as to whether the moratorium, as imposed by the Central
Council of the appellant­PCI, could have been imposed by the
said   Resolution,   which   is   in   the   nature   of   an   executive
instruction of the Central Council.
34. It will be relevant to refer to the following observations of
the Constitution Bench, consisting of 11 Judges, of this Court
in the case of T.M.A. Pai Foundation (supra):
 “18. With regard to the establishment of
educational institutions, three articles of
the Constitution come into play. Article
19(1)(g) gives the right to all the citizens
to practise any profession or to carry on
any occupation, trade or business; this
right is subject to restrictions that may
be placed under Article 19(6). Article 26
gives   the   right   to   every   religious
denomination to establish and maintain
an   institution   for   religious   purposes,
which   would   include   an   educational
institution. Article 19(1)(g) and Article 26,
therefore, confer rights on all citizens and
24
religious denominations to establish and
maintain educational institutions….”
35. It could thus clearly be seen that the Constitution Bench
of this Court in the aforesaid case, in unequivocal terms, holds
that in view of Article 19(1)(g) and Article 26 of the Constitution
of India, all citizens and religious denominations are conferred
with a right to establish and maintain educational institutions.
36. Another Constitution Bench, consisting of five Judges, of
this   Court   in   the   case   of  Islamic   Academy   of   Education
(supra) has held thus: 
“120.   So   far   as   institutions   imparting
professional   education   are   concerned,
having regard to the public interest, they
are bound to maintain excellence in the
standard   of   education.   To   that   extent,
there cannot be any compromise and the
State   would   be   entitled   to   impose
restrictions and make regulations both in
terms of Article 19(1)(g) and Article 30 of
the Constitution of India. The width of
the   rights   and   limitations   thereof   of
unaided   institutions   whether   run   by   a
majority or a minority must conform to
the   maintenance   of   excellence.   With   a
25
view   to   achieve   the   said   goal,
indisputably,   the   regulations   can   be
made by the State.
121. The   right   to   administer   does   not
amount to the right to maladminister and
the right is not free from regulation. The
regulatory   measures   are   necessary   for
ensuring   orderly,   efficient   and   sound
administration. The regulatory measures
can   be   laid   down   by   the   State   in   the
administration of minority institutions.”
37. It   could   thus   be   seen   that   the   Constitution   Bench   in
Islamic Academy  of Education (supra)  holds that the  State
would be entitled to impose restrictions and make regulations
both   in   terms   of   Article   19(1)(g)   and   Article   30   of   the
Constitution of India for maintaining excellence in the standard
of education.   It has been held that regulatory measures are
necessary   for   ensuring   orderly,   efficient   and   sound
administration. 
38. Thereafter   the   Constitution   Bench,   consisting   of   Seven
Judges, of this Court in the case of  P.A.   Inamdar   (supra),
observed thus:
26
“92. As   an   occupation,   right   to   impart
education is  a fundamental  right  under
Article 19(1)(g) and, therefore, subject to
control by clause (6) of Article 19. This
right   is   available   to   all   citizens   without
drawing   a   distinction   between   minority
and   non­minority.   Such   a   right   is,
generally   speaking,   subject   to   the   laws
imposing   reasonable   restrictions   in   the
interest   of   the   general   public.   In
particular, laws may be enacted on the
following subjects: (i) the professional or
technical   qualifications   necessary   for
practising any profession or carrying on
any occupation, trade or business; (ii) the
carrying   on   by   the   State,   or   by   a
corporation   owned   or   controlled   by   the
State of any trade, business, industry or
service whether to the exclusion, complete
or partial of citizens or otherwise. Care is
taken of minorities, religious or linguistic,
by protecting their right to establish and
administer   educational   institutions   of
their   choice   under   Article   30.   To   some
extent, what may be permissible by way of
restriction under Article 19(6) may fall foul
of   Article   30.   This   is   the   additional
protection   which   Article   30(1)   grants   to
the minorities.”
39. It could thus be seen that the Constitution Bench of this
Court in  P.A.   Inamdar  (supra)  has again reiterated that the
27
right to impart education is a fundamental right under Article
19(1)(g) and, therefore, subject to control by clause (6) of Article
19.  It has been held that such a right is subject to the laws
imposing reasonable restrictions in the interest of the general
public.  It has further been held that the laws may be enacted
for   prescribing   the   professional   or   technical   qualifications
necessary   for   practising   any   profession   or   carrying   on   any
occupation, trade or business.  The laws could also be enacted
for   the   purposes   of   the   carrying   on   by   the   State,   or   by   a
corporation   owned   or   controlled   by   the   State   of   any   trade,
business,   industry   or   service   whether   to   the   exclusion,
complete or partial of citizens or otherwise. 
40. In the case of  Modern   Dental   College   and   Research
Centre   (supra),   the   Constitution   Bench,   consisting   of   Five
Judges, of this Court held that though private unaided minority
and   non­minority   institutions   have   a   right   to   establish
educational institutions, in order to balance the public interest,
the State is also empowered to frame Regulations in the interest
28
of general public.  This Court held that, while considering the
scope of reasonable restrictions which are sought to be brought
in, in the interest of the general public, the exercise that is
required to be undertaken is the balancing of the fundamental
rights to carry on a trade or occupation on one hand and the
restrictions so imposed on the other hand.   This Court held
that it was necessary to find out as to whether the restrictions
so imposed were proportional or not.  
41. It is thus clear that though there is a fundamental right to
establish educational institutions, the same can be subject to
reasonable   restrictions,   which   are   found   necessary   in   the
general public interest.  However, the question that requires to
be   answered   is   as   to   whether   the   same   can   be   done   by
executive instructions or not.  
42. The question is directly answered by this Court in the case
of  State   of   Bihar   and   others   vs.   Project   Uchcha   Vidya,
29
Sikshak  Sangh  and  others14  in paragraph 69, which reads
thus:
“69. The right to manage an institution is
also   a   right   to   property.   In   view   of   a
decision of an eleven­Judge Bench of this
Court in T.M.A. Pai Foundation v. State of
Karnataka [(2002)   8   SCC   481]
establishment   and   management   of   an
educational institution has been held to
be a part of fundamental right being a
right of  occupation  as envisaged  under
Article   19(1)(g)   of   the   Constitution.  A
citizen cannot be deprived of the said
right  except   in  accordance  with   law.
The   requirement   of   law   for   the
purpose  of  clause  (6)  of  Article  19  of
the Constitution can by  no stretch  of
imagination be achieved by issuing a
circular or a policy decision in terms
of  Article  162  of   the  Constitution   or
otherwise. Such a law, it is trite, must
be one enacted by the legislature.”
[emphasis supplied]
43. It could thus be seen that this Court has categorically
held that a citizen cannot be deprived of the said right except in
accordance   with   law.   It   has   further   been   held   that   the
requirement of law for the purpose of clause (6) of Article 19 of
14 (2006) 2 SCC 545
30
the Constitution can by no stretch of imagination be achieved
by issuing a circular or a policy decision in terms of Article 162
of the Constitution or otherwise. It has been held that such a
law must be one enacted by the legislature.
44. Shri Maninder Singh, learned Senior Counsel, relied on
the judgment of this Court in the case of Jawaharlal Nehru
Technological University Registrar (supra) to submit that in
the said case also, a moratorium which was imposed by the
State of Telangana was found to be valid since it was done to
control mushrooming growth of educational institutions. 
45. A perusal of the judgment of this Court in the case of
Jawaharlal   Nehru   Technological   University   Registrar
(supra)  would reveal that this Court found that Section 20 of
the Telangana Education Act, 1982 specifically empowered the
State to issue such a direction imposing a moratorium. No such
provision can be found in the said Act, which would empower
31
such   a   restriction   to   be   imposed   by   the   Resolution   of   the
Central Council.  
46. It will also be relevant to refer to the following observation
of the Constitution Bench, consisting of five Judges, of this
Court in the case of State of M.P. vs. Thakur Bharat Singh15:
  “Viewed in the light of these facts the
observations relied upon do not support
the   contention   that   the   State   or   its
officers   may   in   exercise   of   executive
authority   infringe   the   rights   of   the
citizens merely because the Legislature of
the State has the power to legislate in
regard   to   the   subject   on   which   the
executive order is issued.”
47. It is thus clear that the Constitution Bench of this Court
holds that the State or its officers cannot exercise its executive
authority to infringe the rights of the citizens merely because
the Legislature of the State has the power to legislate in regard
to the subject on which the executive order is issued.
48. It could thus be seen that the Constitution Bench holds
that even an Executive cannot do something to infringe the
15 (1967) 2 SCR 454
32
rights of the citizens by an executive action, though the State
Legislature   has   legislative   competence   to   legislate   on   the
subject. 
49. Shri Maninder Singh, learned Senior Counsel appearing
on behalf of the appellant­PCI, relies on the judgment of this
Court   in   the   case   of  Jigya   Yadav   (Minor)   (Through
Guardian/Father   Hari   Singh)   vs.   Central   Board   of
Secondary  Education  and  others  (supra)  in support of his
contention that since the Central Council of the appellant­PCI
is   a   public   authority   and   discharges   public   functions,   the
Resolution resolved by it would partake the character of a law
within the meaning of Article 13 of the Constitution of India.  It
may   be   noted   that   in   the   case   of  Jigya   Yadav   (Minor)
(Through  Guardian/Father  Hari  Singh)  vs.  Central  Board
of Secondary Education and others (supra), this Court was
considering   the   powers   of   the   Central   Board   of   Secondary
Education   (“CBSE”   for   short),   which   is   a   society   registered
33
under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.  CBSE is not a body
incorporated   under   any   statutory   provisions.     However,   the
Central   Council   of   the   appellant­PCI   is   a   statutory   body
constituted under the said Act.  
50. It will be relevant to refer to the observations of this Court
in the case of  Shrimati  Hira  Devi  and  others   vs.  District
Board, Shahjahanpur16, which reads thus:
  “The defendants were a Board created
by statute and were invested with powers
which   of   necessity   had   to   be   found
within   the   four   corners   of   the   statute
itself. 
51. It will also be relevant to refer to paragraph 18 of the
judgment of this Court in the case of V.T. Khanzode (supra),
which is as follows:
“18. In   support   of   this   submission,
reliance is placed by the learned counsel
on the statement of law contained in para
1326   and   1333   (pp.   775   and   779)
16 (1952) SCR 1122
34
of Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th Edn.
In para 1326 it is stated that:
“Corporations   may   be   either
statutory   or   non­statutory,   and   a
fundamental distinction exists between
the  powers and  liabilities of  the two
classes.   Statutory   corporations   have
such rights and can do such acts only
as are authorised directly or indirectly
by   the   statutes   creating   them;   nonstatutory   corporations,   speaking
generally,   can   do   everything   that   an
ordinary   individual   can   do   unless
restricted   directly   or   indirectly   by
statute.”
Para 1333 says that:
“The powers of a corporation created
by   statute   are   limited   and
circumscribed   by   the   statutes   which
regulate it, and extend no further than
is   expressly   stated   therein,   or   is
necessarily and properly required for
carrying into effect the purposes of its
incorporation,   or   may   be   fairly
regarded   as   incidental   to,   or
consequential   upon,   those   things
which the legislature has authorised.
What the statute does not expressly or
impliedly authorise is to be taken to be
prohibited.”
There   is   no   doubt   that   a   statutory
corporation can do only such acts as
are authorised by the statute creating
it   and   that,   the   powers   of   such   a
corporation   cannot   extend   beyond
35
what the statute provides expressly or
by necessary implication. If an act is
neither   expressly   nor   impliedly
authorised   by   the   statute   which
creates   the   corporation,   it   must   be
taken   to   be   prohibited.  This   cannot,
however,   produce   the   result   for   which
Shri Nariman contends. His contention is
not that the Central Board has no power
to frame staff regulations but that it must
do so under Section 58(1) only. On that
argument,   it   is   material   to   note   that
Section   58(1)   is   in   the   nature   of   an
enabling   provision   under   which   the
Central Board “may” make regulations in
order to provide for all matters for which
it   is   necessary   or   convenient   to   make
provision for the purpose of giving effect
to   the   provisions   of   the   Act.   This
provision does not justify the argument
that   staff   regulations   must   be   framed
under it or not at all. The substance of
the matter is that the Central Board has
the power to frame regulations relating to
the   conditions   of   service   of   the   Bank's
staff. If it has that power, it may exercise
it either in accordance with Section 58(1)
or by acting appropriately in the exercise
of its general power of administration and
superintendence.”
[emphasis supplied]
36
52. It   could   thus   be   seen   that   this   Court   has   approved
paragraph  1326   and   1333  (pp.   775   and   779)   of Halsbury's
Laws of England, 4th Edition, to the effect that a statutory
corporation can do only such acts as are authorised by the
statute creating it and that the powers of such a corporation
cannot extend beyond what the statute provides expressly or by
necessary implication.  Though in the said case, this Court held
that   the   said   principle   is   not   applicable   inasmuch   as   the
Central Board has the power to frame regulations relating to
the conditions of service of the Bank's staff, the said principle
will indeed be applicable to the case at hand.
53. Shri   Maninder   Singh,   learned   Senior   Counsel,   further
submitted that the preamble of the said Act itself used the word
“regulate”  and  the   word  “regulate”   would   include  within   its
ambit the power to “prohibit”. Strong reliance is placed on the
judgment   of   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Star   India   Private
Limited  (supra).   However, it is to be noted that in the said
case,  certain clauses of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting
37
and   Cable)   Services   Interconnection   (Addressable   Systems)
Regulations, 2017 notified on 3­3­2017, made under Section 36
of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, together
with the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services
(Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2017 notified on
the same date were under challenge.  In the present case, what
is being sought to be done was done by a Resolution of the
Central Council of the appellant­PCI and not by any Regulation
framed under the provisions of the said Act.   As such, the
judgment   of   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Star   India   Private
Limited  (supra)  is not applicable to the facts of the present
case.  
54. Shri Maninder Singh further relied on the judgment of the
Division Bench of the Bombay High Court, Aurangabad Bench,
in  Sayali  Charitable Trust’s  College of  Pharmacy  (supra).
However, since we have held that the right to establish an
educational   institution  is  a  fundamental  right  under  Article
19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and reasonable restrictions
38
on such a right can be imposed only by a law and not by an
execution   instruction,   we   are   of   the   view   that   the   Division
Bench of the Bombay High Court,  Aurangabad Bench, in the
said case does not lay down the correct position of law.  In our
view, the view taken by the High Courts of Karnataka, Delhi
and Chhattisgarh lays down the correct position of law.  
55. Since we have held that the Resolutions/communications
dated 17th  July 2019 and 9th  September 2019 of the Central
Council   of   the   appellant­PCI,   which   are   in   the   nature   of
executive  instructions,  could  not  impose  restrictions  on  the
fundamental right to establish educational institutions under
Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India, we do not find it
necessary   to   consider   the   submissions   advanced   on   other
issues.   We find that the Resolutions/communications dated
17th July 2019 and 9th September 2019 of the Central Council
of the appellant­PCI are liable to be struck down on this short
ground.  
39
56. Before parting, we may observe that there could indeed be
a   necessity   to   impose   certain   restrictions   so   as   to   prevent
mushrooming growth of pharmacy colleges.  Such restrictions
may be in the larger general public interest.  However, if that
has to be done, it has to be done strictly in accordance with
law.  If and when such restrictions are imposed by an Authority
competent to do so, the validity of the same can always be
scrutinized on the touchstone of law.   We, therefore, refrain
from considering the rival submissions made on that behalf.   
57. It  is   further  to  be  noted  that   the  applications  seeking
approval for D. Pharm and B. Pharm courses are required to be
accompanied by a “No Objection Certificate” (“NOC”) from the
State Government and consent of affiliation from the affiliating
bodies.   While scrutinizing such applications, the Council can
always take into consideration various factors before deciding
to   allow   or   reject   such   applications.     Merely   because   an
institution has a right to establish an educational institution
does not mean that such an application has to be allowed.  In a
40
particular area, if there are more than sufficient number of
institutions already existing, the Central Council can always
take into consideration as to whether it is necessary or not to
increase the number of institutions in such an area.  However,
a   blanket   prohibition   on   the   establishment   of   pharmacy
colleges cannot be imposed by an executive resolution.  
58. In the result, the appeals filed by the Pharmacy Council of
India are dismissed.  However, in the facts and circumstances
of the case, there shall be no order as to costs.   
59. The   writ   petitions   filed   by   the   institutions   shall   stand
disposed of in terms of the above. 
60. Pending application(s), if any, shall also stand disposed of.
CIVIL APPEAL ARISING OUT OF SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION
(CIVIL)   NO.1887   OF   2022   [SHAHEED   TEG   BAHADUR
COLLEGE   OF   PHARMACY   VS.   PHARMACY   COUNCIL   OF
INDIA]
61. The   appeal   filed   by   Shaheed   Teg   Bahadur   College   of
Pharmacy   challenges   the   order   dated   23rd  December   2021
41
passed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court of Delhi
at New Delhi in CM Application No. 41337 of 2021 in Writ
Petition (Civil) No.175 of 2021.
62. In view of the judgment passed by this Court today in Civil
Appeal arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.19671 of
2021 and connected matters, this appeal has been rendered
infructuous and is disposed of as such.  However, there shall
be no order as to costs.   Pending application(s), if any, shall
stand disposed of.  
…….........................J.       
[B.R. GAVAI]
………………….…….........................J.       
[PAMIDIGHANTAM SRI NARASIMHA]
NEW DELHI;
SEPTEMBER 15, 2022.
42

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