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Mirambika row: Government questions land ownership of schools

The Delhi government has raised questions over the ownership of the land where Aurobindo Ashram, Mirambika School and Mother’s International schools are built.

delhi Updated: Mar 03, 2017 23:48 IST
Shradha Chettri
Shradha Chettri
Hindustan Times
Aurobindo Ashram,Mirambika School,Mother's International School
Mirambika students were shifted to Aurobindo Ashram premises in April 2015.(Shradha Chettri)

The Delhi government has raised questions over the ownership of the land where Aurobindo Ashram, Mirambika School and Mother’s International schools are built. They have also found that the society has encroached upon the government land.

Following this, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s education minister, has asked the district magistrate to conduct a survey of the land owned by Shri Aurobindo Education Society (SAES) by March 8.

The society is in possession of 30 acres of land at Aurobindo Marg in South Delhi.

“In the inspection report submitted by the Delhi Development Authority, it has come to our notice that the society has not submitted ownership documents of the land. Also, instead of having separate boundary for the ashram, Mother’s International and Mirambika School as per the government rule, the three institutions have just one boundary. There are portions of land within this boundary that belong to the government. This is encroachment,” said a government official.

Sisodia has written a letter on this issue to the divisional commissioner and secretary education. HT is in possession of the letter, which states, “The DDA has stated that it has no record of how much land has been in possession of the society. Give a detailed report on how and when the possession of government-owned land got transferred to Aurobindo Ashram.”

The official said that these “irregularities” came to light after parents moved court against Mirambika School in 2015. The parents had opposed the school management’s decision in April 2015 to shift children from the original school premises, for which recognition was given in 1988.

The 36-year-old Mirambika Free Progress School is at present running from a building above a kitchen and adjacent to a grocery store within the Aurobindo shram area. It was in July 2015 the school was first shifted to this space, after first shifting the children inside the Ashram in April 2015.

The SAES had shifted the school saying that the land was allotted to build an engineering college and not a school. But the government said that the Delhi Development Authority was aware that instead of a college a free progress school was started.

“If the society does not have ownership papers, it is clear that the entire construction is unauthorised, because the MCD does not give sanction for building plans which has been captured,” said the official.

The chairman of the SAES and the head of the two schools did not respond to phone calls, text messages and email sent by HT.

Earlier, the government has asked for a CBI investigation in this case after it found several discrepancies in the affidavit submitted to the Delhi High Court, which was also withdrawn.

First Published: Mar 03, 2017 23:48 IST