St Kabir derecognition: No HC relief for private schools
Besides, seeking quashing of the May 10 order of derecognition, the association had demanded that it be stayed, pending a plea in the high court
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday issued a notice to the Chandigarh administration on a plea challenging the order of derecognition of St Kabir Public School, Sector 26.
However, the private schools’ body, the Independent Schools’ Association, the petitioner in this case, failed to get any interim relief.
Besides, seeking quashing of the May 10 order of derecognition, the association had demanded that it be stayed, pending a plea in the high court.
Schools’ counsel, Ashish Chopra, had argued that the order was passed in violation of rules and no opportunity of hearing was granted. While the dispute was pending consideration before high court, UT showed hostility and decided to derecognise the school.
Notwithstanding the judgment passed by high court, whereby the school’s minority status was set aside, it continues to maintain its minority character, it was claimed.
On the other hand, Chandigarh administration’s senior standing counsel Anil Mehta argued that the plea was not maintainable, as the order against which the plea was filed was already sub-judice in another matter. It was also submitted that as on date, the school’s status was non-minority and it was bound by the RTE Act to admit EWS students.
The show-cause notice of August 2015 is under challenge in Supreme Court. The association has no locus standi to file the present writ petition, it was submitted.
In July 2022, a division bench of the high court had quashed a 2014 notification of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution, granting minority status to St Kabir. The matter remains pending in the apex court.
As per UT, private schools are to get reimbursement under the EWS category for only 10% admissions made each year. Educational institutes have been allotted land on leasehold basis under a 1996 scheme, according to which they were required to admit 5% students as part of social responsibility from EWS category without charging any dues.
Subsequently, the 5% limit was enhanced to 15% in 2005, and it covered all schools that got land prior to this policy or after the notification of the policy. While capping the EWS enrolments at 25%, as mandated under the RTE Act, UT provides reimbursement for 10% students only, citing the remaining 15% admissions fall under the 1996 scheme.
However, schools are arguing that UT has been dilly dallying on reimbursements since 2012. They are only provided reimbursement for the entry level class, no further reimbursement was being provided by the administration for the next classes of EWS students, schools have argued, seeking high court intervention and directions that orders/notices issued by UT in this regard be quashed.
St Kabir’s recognition was withdrawn as it failed to admit students as per UT’s directive in consonance with the RTE Act, UT has claimed.