Maxfort school moves court against Delhi govt takeover decision
Last week, the high court had asked the government not to take any “coercive steps” in connection with the takeover of the school till further orders, and also appointed a local commissioner to visit the school and take custody of the school’s entire record in both physical as well as digital form.delhi Updated: Aug 09, 2016 19:45 IST
Maxfort School on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court, seeking contempt action against the Directorate of Education (DoE) for violating a court order on its takeover by the city government. The matter is listed for hearing on Wednesday.
Last week, the high court had asked the government not to take any “coercive steps” in connection with the takeover of the school till further orders, and also appointed a local commissioner to visit the school and take custody of the school’s entire record in both physical as well as digital form.
The contempt petition filed by advocate Pramod Gupta, on behalf of the school, alleged that the officials of the DoE “hindered the functioning of the local commissioner and…even tried to copy the data in separate pen drive and remove it from the school premises.”
The high court said on Wednesday that officers of the DoE “shall not interfere with the functioning of the local commissioner, but shall be present for the purposes of observing the proceedings and for de-sealing and sealing the location where the records are kept.”
The order came on the plea of Maxfort School challenging the Lieutenant Governor’s approval given to the Delhi government’s decision to take over the institute’s two branches at Pitampura and Rohini.
This is the first time the Delhi government has taken action against a private, unaided school after a clutch of complaints against it by the parents’ association.
The DoE’s counsel told the court that there were allegations of forged and fabricated records having been produced by the school. The department also said it feared the records would have been tampered with.
The school, which has four branches in Delhi, is being currently run by the Chadha Educational Society and the S Jagat Singh Chadha Charitable Trust.
The Pitampura branch has around 1,200 students in classes 1-8 and the Rohini branch has 1,800 students in classes 9-12.
Following complaints that the school was collecting capitation fee and denying admission to poor students under the EWS quota, the government constituted two committees. The first was under the department of education and the other under the district magistrate, northwest district.
On the recommendations of the two committees, the directorate of education issued show cause notices to the two branches of the school on April 11. The school was given 15 days to respond.
After examining the responses, the government decided to take over the management of the school by the powers vested in it under the Delhi School Education Act.
On Wednesday, a team visited both schools and took possession of the school property.
Maxfort School then immediately approached the high court against the action.