Replying to the show-cause notice issued by the UT education department, Vivek High School, Sector 38, has alleged that the complaint is false, frivolous, malafide and motivated. It also reiterated its status of a Sikh minority institution.
The complainant, Navneet Goyal, as Hindustan Times reported on Thursday, had alleged that a notice on the school notice board had claimed that the school was a Sikh minority school, and he was verbally informed that Sikh students would be given preference, which amounted to discrimination based on religion.
In a letter marked to the district education officer (DEO), school chairperson HS Mamik has said, “It is a well-settled principle that the autonomy of a Sikh minority institution be allowed to function without a minimum interference in managing the affairs of the institution,” adding that it appears “the complainant has made an attempt to interfere in the matters of a minority institution in order to destroy the administrative autonomy of a Sikh minority institution in the garb of the complaint.”
“Goyal has made a false complaint in order to arm-twist the school to succumb to his pressure for admission of his ward in nursery class,” also states the written reply. Besides, a reference has also been made to Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India, 1950 which gives religious minority a fundamental right to establish and administer educational institutes of their choice.
Vivek High was established by Sikhs and since its inception has been administered by Sikhs. It also cited that the institution had followed the guidelines laid down in ‘TMA Pai foundations versus State of Karnataka’ and was giving preference to Sikh community on the basis of the demography of Chandigarh city.
Meanwhile, with reference to the department’s claim about the school not being granted minority status by the National Minority Commission for Education Institutions (NMCEI), the authorities have claimed that the matter has already been argued and that the judgment was reserved by the commission and was due anytime now.
When contacted, director school education (DSE) Rubinderjit Singh Brar said the department was still examining the matter.
Sources in the department, however, said the department officials were not taking the matter lightly as they plan to write to the NMCEI, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) as well as the estate office about the same and reporting the matter at length to come to a conclusion.
Meanwhile, Vivek High is already one of the 27 schools to which the notice had to be sent regarding EWS violation as per the department officials.
Mamik though maintained his stance. He said, “We have no specific percentage mentioned anywhere on reservation of seats but yes, we are a minority institution of the Sikh community.”