“Indiscriminate grant of recognition to schools in the unaided sector may have an adverse affect on the state-owned schools as well as the existing schools in the aided sector,” the Supreme Court held.
The court upheld Kerala education department's refusal to recognise unaided schools as three such institutions were already operating within a radius of five kilometres.
A bench headed by justice KS Radhakrishnan said: “The question, as to whether, the grant of recognition would affect the existing schools is also a relevant consideration. The state spends large amounts by way of aid, grant etc. for running schools in the aided sector as well as the state-owned schools.”
It further said indiscriminate recognition to unaided schools might impact state-run and other aided schools functioning in a specific locality by way of division fall or retrenchment of teachers.
The court also found no infirmity with the Kerala Education Rules that allowed the directorate to recognise or upgrade schools while considering the existing ones in and around the locality in which new institution was to be opened.
The SC order came on Kerala government's challenge to its HC verdict that directed the state education department to grant recognition to an English medium school in the tribal area of Attappady in Palakkad district.
Established in 2001, the school had applied for recognition in 2003.