School land rule: HC asks state, Union govt to consider petition

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday directed the Union and the state governments to take notice of a petition filed by Karnataka Unaided Schools' Management Association.

The petitioner had challenged a notification issued by the state government which had resulted in the rejection of hundreds of applications for new schools and hundreds of schools have been shut down. The petitioner has sought quashing of the notification.

The notification had mandated that new schools within the BBMP/municipal corporation limits should possess a minimum of one acre of land. Schools in other regions should possess a
minimum of 1.5 or 2 acres of land. According to the petitioner, the state government notification violates the mandatory precondition of 'previous publication' under section 145 of the Karnataka Education Act 1983 read with section 23 of Karnataka General Clauses Act, 1899.

The precondition of 'previous publication' requires any notification issued by the state government to be first published in draft form, comments and objections invited up to a date specified in the draft form and consideration of the same. After all these requirements are fulfilled, a final notification can be issued. The state government ignored all these mandatory requirements while issuing the notification.

The matter was adjourned for hearing to next week.

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