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Can’t allow school to be run from unsafe building: SC

first day in school

New Delhi : The Supreme Court today refused to allow a Mumbai school to continue its academic session from an old building, declared unsafe and unauthorised by civic authorities, saying the structure will be unable to sustain the onslaught of monsoon.

“The building will not be able sustain the onslaught of monsoon in Mumbai. The safety and security of students is of importance. We cannot allow the school to go on from the old structure,” a vacation bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and A M Khanwilkar said.

The Mumbai-based St Thomas High School had approached the apex court against Bombay High Court’s order which had directed demolition of the building after considering the report of the Municipal Corporation on its structural safety.

The High Court had restrained the school from starting the new session from its old building.

The apex court also refused to agree with the submission of senior advocate Huzeba Ahmadi that alternate arrangements will be made in a year’s time and said that “in Mumbai during monsoon, drains overflow and the building will not be able to bear the onslaught of this season.”

Ahmadi, who appeared for the school, said over 3000 students were studying and if time was not granted to them to make an alternate arrangement, then their future would be in jeopardy.

The bench, however, refused to interfere with the Bombay High Court order.

The school, in its petition filed through advocate Maheen Pradhan, said “the High Court has failed to appreciate the fact that a report of a structural engineer from their own panel has also submitted that the building is safe for occupancy and the prayer of the petitioner to permit them to continue using the same for a period of one year to arrange for make-shift arrangement could have been accepted.”

It claimed there was grave miscarriage of justice which would affect the school as well as the interests of thousands of students currently studying there.

The plea further said the school was being run in the building for the last two decades and it was only in 2013 that notices were issued to it for the first time alleging unauthorised construction.

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