HC directs closure of unrecognised schools in unsafe premises
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed the city government, DDA and civic bodies here to ensure immediate closure of unrecognised schools housed in premises which may pose threat to the safety of students.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also asked the authorities concerned to “expeditiously” decide on the issue of recognition to be given and closure of the remaining unrecognised schools.
“We direct the Directorate of Education (DoE), Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to ensure immediate closure/ shifting of those unrecognised schools which are housed in any premises which may pose a threat to the safety of its children.
“We also issue a direction to the authorities concerned to expeditiously decide the issue of regularisation, if any, to be granted or the change, if any, to be made in norms prescribed for recognition of the schools. We also remind governmental agencies of Sections 18 and 19(2) of RTE Act and with which they are in any case required to comply,” the court said.
The court order came on a plea filed by NGO Social Jurist saying that despite court’s February 2008 order that no unrecognised school be allowed to run in the national capital, the DoE has done nothing to ensure this, resulting in “continuous existence and mushrooming of hundreds of unauthorised, unsafe and unrecognised play schools and pre-primary schools in Delhi”.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal, appearing for the NGO, had contended before the court that allowing pre-primary and nursery schools to continue to run without obtaining recognition is “illegal”.
In 2008, while hearing a PIL, the high court had asked the government to frame a scheme for regularising and regulating these unregistered institutions.