High Court voices con­cern on po­lit­i­cal fig­ures run­ning schools

Or­ders regis­tra­tion of FIR against a trust, which op­er­ates the school for spe­cial chil­dren

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI - NARSI BENWAL /

Tak­ing note of the fact that cer­tain ‘in­flu­en­tial’ per­sons ob­tain li­cences to run schools and later end up wast­ing the govern­ment money, the Au­rangabad bench of the Bom­bay High Court re­cently re­fused to grant any re­lief to a trust. The HC even di­rected regis­tra­tion of a First In­for­ma­tion Re­port (FIR) against the trust for pro­duc­ing false in­spec­tion re­ports, which were al­legedly in their favour.

The trust — Gramin Shik­shan Prasarak Man­dal, was granted a li­cence in 2004 to run a school for spe­cial chil­dren at Latur dis­trict. The trust con­tin­ued to run this aided school, how­ever, in 2012, the govern­ment re­fused to re­new the li­cence. Sub­se­quently, the regis­tra­tion of the trust was can­celled and the school was handed over to a Kol­ha­pur-based trust.

Ag­grieved by this ac­tion, the trust pe­ti­tioned a di­vi­sion bench of Jus­tices Tanaji Nalawade and Su­nil Kot­wal, chal­leng­ing the ac­tion of the govern­ment. The bench, while hear­ing the mat­ter, noted the fact that the regis­tra­tion was can­celled on the ground that the school was not run prop­erly and dur­ing sur­prise in­spec­tions, it was of­ten found to be shut. The con­cerned au­thor­ity even raised doubt over the strength of the stu­dents shown on the record. The bench also noted the fact that the re­cruit­ment of teach­ing and non-teach­ing staff was not ap­proved.

“The ob­ject of start­ing such in­sti­tu­tions is to give an op­por­tu­nity to the per­sons, who are in­ter­ested in do­ing so­cial work and only when there is such an in­ten­tion, they can be al­lowed to run such in­sti­tu­tions. The spe­cial chil­dren can­not ex­plain or ex­press the dif­fi­cul­ties, they face when per­sons like pe­ti­tion­ers man­age the school. It is never de­sir­able to al­low such per­sons to run such schools,” Jus­tice Nalawade said while dis­miss­ing the trust’s plea.

The bench while deal­ing the mat­ter, fur­ther noted the fact that usu­ally such trusts, are run by po­lit­i­cal fig­ures and there is no check on how these schools are be­ing op­er­ated.

“It is bad but it is fact that many times the regis­tra­tion and the li­cences are is­sued in favour of the per­sons who are ei­ther po­lit­i­cal fig­ures or the work­ers of the po­lit­i­cal fig­ures. Even when there is no in­fra­struc­ture, the li­cences are is­sued and the schools get money from the govern­ment un­der the name of grants,” Jus­tice Nalawade noted in his or­der.

“That is why a huge staff is shown to be ap­pointed, even when the staff is not com­pe­tent for such schools. Be­cause of all this, the govern­ment dis­al­lows new schools as it in­volves in­cur­ring of more fi­nan­cial li­a­bil­ity,” the bench added.

Ac­cord­ingly, the judges dis­missed the pe­ti­tion filed by the trust.

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