Published: 06th December 2022
Kerala HC asks MG University to consider affiliation for hearing impaired students' college
During the hearing, Justice Devan Ramachandran asked the University to issue the appropriate orders before December 15
The Kerala High Court has directed Mahatma Gandhi (MG) University to consider an application for affiliation with a college for hearing impaired students. The Sacred Heart Clarist Province Charitable Society has applied for affiliation with the college, which would be run by it as a self-financing institution.
During the hearing, Justice Devan Ramachandran asked MG University to issue appropriate orders in consideration of the application before December 15. With this interim direction, the court listed the matter for further hearing on December 16, as per a report by PTI.
The order follows a plea filed by the charitable society, which sought to run the college as an unaided institution. Senior advocate Jaju Babu, representing the society, told the court that given the financial crisis the state government is in, his client was willing to operate the college as an unaided institution. The plea has also urged the court to not ask the society to draft a fresh affiliation application, as then "the entire process could take another year and would prejudice the rights of the hearing impaired students".
This is the second round of litigation in the matter. The society had earlier sought sanction and affiliation for operating the college, from the academic year 2022-23, as an aided institution, but the same was denied by the government citing financial constraints. When the society moved the court, it had directed the state government to reconsider its policy not to allow any aided colleges and had urged not to "mechanically" apply the same to the society's institution.
In its earlier plea, the society had cited that hearing-impaired students completed their higher secondary courses but dropped out, as there was a dearth of college education opportunities for them. The society had also told the court that it runs a Higher Secondary School with a hostel facility for the hearing impaired and unless they open an aided college, the students passing out from there would have no other option but to discontinue their further education.
However, the state government had stood firm on its decision and stated that aided colleges were not being sanctioned given the "anticipated financial burden". In August, the High Court had ordered the government to reconsider the society's request to start an aided college, but only to cater to students with hearing disabilities, as per PTI.
Though the government did not budge from its stand, it permitted the society to prefer an application for sanctioning the college under the self-financing mode, the latest plea said. But concerned that the process under the new application could take very long, the society moved the court seeking directions that its earlier application for sanction be processed under the unaided category.