HC permits 300 pvt schools to run as senior secondary

HC permits 300 pvt schools to run at senior secondary level without paying additional FAR charges

 The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed around 300 private unaided schools to run as senior secondary schools, as recognised by the CBSE, without having to pay any additional charges to the DDA for increasing their floor area ratio (FAR).

Justice C Hari Shankar said the member schools of Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools, a society, which have been recognised as senior secondary schools by the Directorate of Education (DoE) of Delhi government or the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), can function as such without paying any additional charges to the DDA.

While ruling so, the court expressed hope that in the future, statutory bodies like Delhi Development Authority (DDA), CBSE and DoE would avoid conflicting stands, with regard to functioning of educational institutions, so that right to education can "prosper and thrive".

"One must bear in mind the fact that, at the end of the day, the voiceless students are the ones who are sacrificed, in the tussle between the bureaucracy and the educational institutions. In a welfare state, such as ours, this is unthinkable," the court said.

The observation came as in this case the schools had been permitted by the CBSE and DoE to function at senior secondary level, but were being prohibited from doing so by the DDA due to its demand for additional FAR charges.

The court said the DDA stand was "completely unreasonable" and amounted to "an attempt to take away with the left hand that which is given with the right".

The order and observations came on the society's plea opposing DDA's demand for payment of additional charges for being allowed the facility of additional FAR which they would need after being recognised as senior secondary schools (SSS).

The society, represented by senior advocate Amit Sibal and advocate Kamal Gupta, had also said that despite clear cut instructions circulated by the DDA allowing such upgradation, if the schools have the requisite land area, the authority "for no justifiable reason" was refusing to permit the same unless additional charges were paid.

Allowing the society's plea, the court said its 300 members "would be entitled to run their schools at the senior secondary level, without having to pay any additional charges to the DDA, whether by way of additional FAR charges, or otherwise".

The court also directed the DDA to modify the lease deeds, executed with the individual societies, to the said effect.

"However, it is clarified that the right of the societies to run their institutions at the senior secondary level would not be conditional, or dependent, upon such modification," it said.