The Supreme Court in the case Parshavanath Charitable Trust & Anr v All India Council For Tech Education & Ors observed and has allowed the application moved by the Pharmacy Council of India’s (PCI), wherein seeking permission to consider for the next academic year 2023-24 the applications received for the establishment of new pharmacy colleges. The bench comprising of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Vikram Nath was hearing the matter.
The Supreme Court on 15.09.2022 approved the judgements of High Court which set aside the 5-year moratorium imposed by the PCI on the opening of new pharmacy colleges, the court had directed the authority to process the new applications. Thus, the permissions have been sought for considering these pending applications for the next academic year. In the present case, the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta appeared for PCI with Advocates Somiran Sharma and Rana Prashant. The application moved seeks extension in time schedule laid down by the Supreme Court via its judgment dated 13.12.2012 wherein a time schedule for approval process of institutions, the grant and admission of admission process was laid down.
As per the judgement and the last date of hearing of granting or refusing approval by the authorities was not to be later than 10th April of the relevant year, and the appeals, if any, which are supposed to be submitted by 30th April of the relevant year. Therefore, the application being provided for details of previous years where the court had extended the deadline. It has been added that this year, due to an extraordinary situation, an extension was required. The bench observed while stating that the applicant was constrained by limited resources and the applications which needed to be processed and disposed of were large in number, it has also been highlighted in the application that there were several holidays falling in the month of October such as Dussehra, Diwali, bhai dooj, Govardhan Puja etc.
It has been submitted by the applicant that number of working days had reduce. There were also being issues in respect of availability of human resources including difficulties in availability of inspectors, availability of officers in PCI office and the closure of other institutions due to festivals etc. Further, it has been submitted by the applicant that in October 2022, the PCI online portal got blocked and thus the applicant could not carry out any work related to processing of applications as all the documents which are in relation to institutions were only available on the portal in digital mode. The applicant stated that the portal was not functioning, all the work had to be done manually and with limited number of staff. Thus, the same was taking a lot of time and it was impossible to hire trained manpower in such a short time for completion of approval of applications for the academic year 2022-2023. The court while considering the exigencies and extraordinary situation, PCI requested to be allowed to process the pending applications for the next academic year that is, 2023-2024. Accordingly, the court allowed the same.