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SC orders de-sealing of an East Delhi school

The de-sealing has been ordered in view of the hardships faced by hundreds of students and Board Examinations likely to be held early next year, reports Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2006 23:23 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered de-sealing of Vanasthali Public School in East Delhi in view of the hardships faced by hundreds of students and Board Examinations likely to be held early next year.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi had sealed the school run by Digambar Jain Society at Madhu Vihar 12 days ago on the orders of the court's Monitoring Committee on the ground that it was allegedly built on encroached land.

A bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal ordered the de-sealing of the school and allowed it to operate till April 10, the end of this academic session, after senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi submitted that the career of about 2,500 students was at stake.

The interim order would remain in operation till April 10, 2007 and thereafter it would be re-sealed as the petitioner society itself undertook to abide by the deadline.

As the sealing was done despite an order of the Delhi High Court staying the Monitoring Committee's direction, the High Court had issued contempt notices to the MCD. The bench also stayed the contempt proceedings before the High Court and vacated the stay order passed on November 29.

Earlier, MCD counsel Sanjiv Sen pointed out that the High Court could not have done so in view of the apex court's direction to the committee to ignore orders passed by any other court in the sealing matter.

The court directed the DDA to respond to the Monitoring Committee Report in this regard and castigated the Authority for having created a mess in the capital.

The MCD and the Monitoring Committee alleged that the school existed on public land, while the school's owners contended that it was on a private land and the allegation about encroachment was not correct.

Sen had contended that the sealing was done in accordance with the court orders passed on March 24 and September 29 as also the Monitoring Committee's 4th report.

The High Court and the Monitoring Committee have been at loggerheads over the sealing of this school.

Digambar Jain Society had approached the High Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the MCD for having sealed it ignoring a stay order passed by the High Court on November 29. The school was sealed on November 30.

Justice Ravindra Bhatt of the High Court had sought an explanation from the MCD as to why they overruled the stay order on their own.

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First Published: Dec 12, 2006 23:23 IST