HC upholds minority schools’ autonomy | delhi | Hindustan Times
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HC upholds minority schools’ autonomy

The Delhi High Court on Monday ruled that unaided minority schools in the city such as Carmel, St Colombas and St Xavier's can decide the retiring age of their principals and are not bound by Delhi Government and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) rules on the matter.

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2010 00:00 IST
Harish V. Nair

The Delhi High Court on Monday ruled that unaided minority schools in the city such as Carmel, St Colombas and St Xavier's can decide the retiring age of their principals and are not bound by Delhi Government and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) rules on the matter.

The court said the government has a say only in prescribing the minimum qualification for the post.

The ruling came after Mount Carmel School challenged the Delhi Directorate of Education's refusal to grant permission to extend the term of its principal V.K. Williams beyond 60 years.

Deciding in favour of Carmel, Justice S Muralidhar said Rule 110 of the Delhi School Education (DSE) Rules fixing retirement age at 60 was only applicable to principals of government schools, Delhi Directorate of Education's .

Recognised unaided minority schools were outside it purview.

"Post of the Principal of an unaided minority institution is a key post and therefore apart from mandating the minimum qualification, the state cannot have any say on what should be the terms and conditions of service," said the judge.

Also under challenge was CBSE's letter to Carmel that it would extend its affiliation only if it appointed another person in place of Williams as he had crossed the retirement age.

Williams was principal of the school since 1976.

He completed 60 years on October 15, 1997. The school's managing committee passed a resolution on July 12, 1997, extending his services to October 15 1999.

But the Department of Education (DOE) told the school that under DSE rules, the retirement age was 60 years and therefore such an extension was not permissible.

It asked the school to appoint a new principal and threatened to initiate action in case of its failure to do so.

The court upheld the argument of K.K. Rai, senior lawyer who appearing for Carmel, that unaided minority institutions received no grants from the government and Article 30 of the Constitution protected their special privilege.