Focus on students, not hotel with liquor licence: Bombay HC to Pune school

Justice GS Kulkarni of the Bombay high court rejected the plea by school executives against a new hotel in the neighbourhood, advising the school to inculcate students with strong moral values.
The Bombay high court advised a Pune school that objected to a new hotel with a liquor licence but had never objected to an older hotel allowed to serve liquor to focus on educating its students (HT FilePhoto)
The Bombay high court advised a Pune school that objected to a new hotel with a liquor licence but had never objected to an older hotel allowed to serve liquor to focus on educating its students (HT FilePhoto)
Published on Oct 14, 2021 12:55 AM IST
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By Kanchan Chaudhari

MUMBAI:It is better that educational institutions inculcate students with strong moral values to prepare them to face challenges in life rather than worry about the effect of a hotel with a liquor licence in the same neighbourhood as the school, the Bombay high court has said

“It is thus more important that an endeavour of an educational institution should be to impart education, so that the basic human values and good virtues are inculcated in the students, to make them ideal citizens,” justice GS Kulkarni said, his parting advice as the court on Tuesday rejected a request by school management’s executives against the liquor licence.

“It is thus a sincere hope, that these words fall on the receptive ears of the institution and the institution creates a situation for itself, that it would feel proud of its students.”

The case revolved around an attempt by a hotel located in a village in Pune district’s Junar subdivision to shift the business to the town within the limits of Junar municipal council. The request for transferring the liquor licence was rejected by the district collector. The hotel owner went in appeal to the Maharashtra commissioner of excise, who reversed the collector’s order and granted him permission.

Some office-bearers of the school petitioned the high court, challenging the new order.

Justice Kulkarni rejected the argument that cited the likelihood of a law and order problem due to the hotel’s liquor licence, noting that there was no such apprehension expressed by the police and this was “a total figment of imagination of the petitioners”.

“In the present facts, the petitioner’s institution ought not to have formed such opinion that the education being imparted by their educational institution was so fragile that the students would get easily influenced by a restaurant serving liquor in the vicinity,” he said.

This, the court said, was for two reasons.

Firstly, this educational institution was never bothered about a similar restaurant having a liquor licence functioning in the vicinity for the last 10 to 12 years. Secondly and most importantly, the court said, if the quality of learning and inculcation of moral values in the children was of a standard, the institution ought not to worry at all about any student being adversely affected by any such place in the vicinity of the school.

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Monday, October 18, 2021