Chennai: In a significant ruling, which will be beneficial to students aspiring to study law course, the Madras high court has quashed the Tamil Nadu Establishment of Private Law Colleges (Prohibition) Act 2014 that imposed a complete ban on starting new private law colleges in state.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan gave the ruling while allowing a petition from Advocates' Forum for Social Justice represented by its president K. Balu, challenging the Act.
Quashing the Act as ultra vires of the Constitution of India, the bench said even if the objective with which the legislation was made was examined, as set out in its preamble, it was to provide legal education at reasonable cost.
"Nothing prevents the state government from starting educational institutions in requisite numbers and the students would thus have the right to choose the educational institutions.
No private educational institution would survive unless it gives quality education and better than what was available at less cost. They will only result in excess capacity as in the case of engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu. That was not what was sought to be achieved. It is an absolute ban for all times to come which is imposed and only if there is repeal of the enactment would this ban go," the bench added.
Allowing a petition from Vanniar Education Trust, which obtained no objection certificate after eight rounds of litigations to start Saraswathi Law College in Tindivanam but could not get affiliation from the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University in view of the new Act, the bench quashed the order of the university and directed it to examine the case of the trust and take a decision within four weeks.