Grant nod for English schools soon or land in jail, HC to officials

Orders DPI to file status report on permission for institutions

Grant nod for English schools soon or land in jail, HC to officials

The High Court on Tuesday warned to imprison officials of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) if they continue to delay granting permission for English schools.

A division bench of Justices N Kumar and B Srinivas Gowda censured DPI officials for not enforcing a previous order of the High Court, which stipulated that the government must give permission for English-medium schools. The court is hearing a contempt petition filed by the Karnataka Unaided School Managements’ Association (Kusma) and the Karnataka State Minority Institute Managements’ Federation (KSMIMF).

The court expressed displeasure over the delay in according permission and warned to send DPI officials to jail. “Aren’t you receiving salary or you do not have any respect for the court? We know how to extract obedience to our order. The court will take delinquent officers into custody. We will show you what the contempt is,” the bench observed and passed over the matter.

Two days sought

However, when the matter came up for hearing in the afternoon, the government counsel sought two days’ time to file the status report on compliance of the court’s previous order. The counsel submitted that the process to grant permission was on. The court then granted the required time and adjourned the matter.

Around 1,900 schools under Kusma and 550 schools under the KSMIMF have filed a petition seeking action for contempt of the court. They have contended that the government had failed to start giving permission for English schools even after a full bench of the Supreme Court upheld a High Court order in this regard.

Notice stayed

The High Court on Tuesday stayed the demand notice issued by the Forest Department to mining firms in Ballari district to pay up the shortfall of Forest Development Tax (FDT) running into several crores of rupees.

Ten mining lease owners—B Rudragouda, Nadeem Minerals, H R Gaviappa and others—have moved the High Court challenging the demand notice issued by the DCF Ballari on June 9, 2015. The notice demanded six per cent of the FDT along with 18 per cent interest for the domestic sale of the mineral from 2008-09 to 2011-12.

K N Phanindra, the petitioners’ counsel, argued that the department had recalculated the FDT and was demanding 12 per cent of the value of iron ore sold by the firms, which was “totally illegal and unconstitutional” and should be quashed.

The counsel contended that the Forest Department could neither recalculate the FDT nor issue the notice. He demanded that the notice be set aside. A division bench of acting Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice B V Nagarathna stayed the demand notice.

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