Chandigarh’s Vivek High School not a Sikh minority institute: High court
In February 2018, the high court (HC) had stayed Sikh minority institution status to St Kabir Public School, Sector 26.punjab Updated: Aug 18, 2018 10:51 IST
In an important judgment, the Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled that Vivek High School, Sector 38, in Chandigarh is not a Sikh minority institute.
In February 2018, the high court (HC) had stayed Sikh minority institution status to St Kabir Public School, Sector 26.
The high court (HC) decision may have bearing on a dozen odd other schools in the city that got the minority tag after a Supreme Court ruling in 2012 held that minority institutes are out of the Right to Education (RTE) Act’s ambit with regard to 25% quota for economically weaker section (EWS) children during the entry-level admissions.
The HC judgment came on the petition of the Chandigarh administration’s education department. It on August 9, 2017, had challenged the National Commission For Minority Educational Institutes (NCMEI) decision of granting the status. The HC bench of justice RK Jain on Friday set aside the NCMEI decision and held that the school is not a minority institution. Detailed judgment is awaited.
Run by Bhagwant Singh Charitable Trust, the school got a minority tag on February 4, 2016. The school run by its chairman, HS Mamik, was started in 1984, and was allocated a plot in Sector 38 in 1989. The school had made a representation to the NCMEI in May 7, 2012, which UT had claimed was to circumvent SC ruling and so that it does not have to admit EWS students, after the SC held that minority institutions are out of the RTE Act’s ambit.
The UT had argued that the school approached the commission directly, without first giving an application to it — the competent authority. It had also accused the school of altering the original trust deed in December 2014 to insert some clauses so that the department’s rules on admitting EWS students could by bypassed.
It was also pointed out that the trust was formed with the sole objective of imparting education and there was no clause about upliftment or protection of any minority community. HS Mamik, school chairman and, said: “We have not received the order yet. I have no comment to make.”
Schools in question
Of 82 private schools in the city, 22 are minority institutes. Thirteen schools opted for the status after RTE Act in 2010. These include Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36; Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public school, Sector 40; Mount Carmel School, Sector 47; Kids r Kids, Sector 46; New Public School, Sector 18; St Stephen’s School, Sector 45; Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36; Saupin’s School, Sector 32; Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 40, and AKSIPS, Sector 41. Only two have got a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the UT.
“We contested the case very strongly. It is a very good decision,” said UT education secretary BL Sharma. “Vivek High School manipulated facts and got the minority status. We have already moved the HC against other schools that got the minority status without an NOC. We are likely to succeed because they followed the same course.”
First Published: Aug 18, 2018 10:50 IST