What laws govern foreign varsities, asks high court
Bhopal/Jabalpur: The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday directed the central government, union human resources development ministry, state higher education department and Barkatullah university to file detailed affidavits on the applicable laws governing running of foreign universities in the country and value of degrees these universities confer on the students.
The respondents have been given three weeks time to file the replies. The bench of justices K K Lahoti and Vimal Jain passed the interim order after hearing petitions filed by some students of Leeds Met India, Bhopal.
According to the petitions, UK-based Leeds Metropolitan University had opened its branch and off shore campus in collaboration with Jagran social welfare society in the state capital in August 2009. The students said that at the time of admission, the institute had told them that it was an AICTE recognised institution following which nearly 150 of them took admission in different professional courses there.
However, in February, they were informed that the institute did not possess any permission from any authority.
The students then filed various writ petitions before the High Court in March, 2012, following which notices were served on the respondents concerned.
The students demanded refund of entire fees of nearly Rs 15 lakh, compensation of Rs 30 lakh each, and initiation of cases of fraud and cheating against the management as well as office bearers of the JSW society. The court took a serious note of the working of the institution without mandatory approval, despite the plea on the part of "Leeds Met India" that it being an offshore branch of a foreign university never required any approval.
According to counsel for the petitioners, Siddharth Radhelal Gupta, even in the advertisements, brochures, fee receipts and other documents the institution had mentioned that they had all the mandatory approvals.