The Telangana High Court on Friday imposed a fine of ₹10,000 on All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) for the inordinate delay in filing a counter affidavit in a writ petition filed by two educational societies in 2019.

A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said the amount should be paid to the fund of advocates for treatment of COVID-19. St. Mary Educational Society and St. Mary Group of Educational Institutions moved the HC in 2019 questioning AICTE’s decision seeking the interest amount deposited by institutions running colleges.

The two petitioners stated that they deposited ₹15 lakh with AICTE towards corpus fund to start MBA programme in their business school for 2010-11 academic year. AICTE passed circular in 2018 stating that the interest amount generated on this deposit should be deposited with it for training teaching staff and scholarship of students.

Stating that AICTE collecting interest amount on the amounts deposited by them was unjustified, the petitioners filed petitions in the HC. Despite repeated instructions, the AICTE did not file the counter affidavit and continued to seek more time. When the AICTE counsel sought time again on Friday, the bench took a serious note of it and imposed the fine.

In a separate matter, Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao of Telangana High Court on Friday directed Special Chief Secretary of Education to appear before the court on August 27 for failing to comply with the court order issued three years ago. The judge passed an interim direction on December 28, 2018 to pay minimum wage of ₹12,000 per month to three persons working as part-time sweepers in Mahabubnagar district library.

According to the petitioners, they were being paid a sum of ₹2,080 per month. When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, the judge took exception to the government not enforcing the court’s interim direction and instructed the Special Chief Secretary to appear before the court.

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