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HC gave final opportunity to Govt to explain why top private schools are not giving 25% reservation to under-privileged? 

“Govt lease out land to them & in return they are bound to serve the poorest of poor”

Sheikh Saleem

Srinagar, April 15:  High Court on Friday granted final opportunity to the state government to reveal their stand on the allegation levelled by a petitioner that top private educational institutes are not giving 25% reservation to under-privileged students as per norms.

On February 12 this year, High court had accepted to hear a petition seeking directions to valleys top private institutes to have 25 percent reservation for students of under privileged class of the society and had also granted three weeks time to the state to respond to the petition.

However court observed that state government has not revealed its stand despite two hearings since then. On this division bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Janak Raj Kotwal granted last and final opportunity to the government and granted two weeks  time to respond to the petition. Court also directed to list the matter for further consideration in the first
week of May.

The petition filled by chairman International Forum for Human Rights Justice Ahsan Untoo said the government has leased out land to these private schools at meagre price and in return these schools are bound to serve the poorest of the poor and reserve 25 percent of its seats for them, which it was not abiding by.

The petitioner has made top private schools of the valley as respondents in the petition including Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson School, Burn Hall School, Presentation Convent School besides state through Chief Secretary and Commissioner Secretary Education.

Petitioner said if the schools are following the conditions, then the schools should disclose the list of beneficiary student belonging to the under privileged class of the society who have got benefited from such institutions without payment of any fees since from the time such lease was granted in favour of all such institutions.

Untoo has also sought directions to the state government to provide details with respect to the leased land currently under possession of the private schools of the state along with the tenure of the lease, rent recoverable from all such institutions and the conditions of the lease granted to such institutions.

The petitioner has also asked for directions to government to frame a policy for fixation and recovery of rent for all the leased land presently under the occupation of such schools.

He has also sought list of all the private schools getting the grants from the state and the amount of grant issued in favour of such educational institutions and the conditions of issuance of such a grant.

Untoo further pleaded that the system of education has been diminishing in terms of the quality when the state has made endeavours for bringing the educational opportunity to the door steps of the people. “The fall in the quality education in the public educational system has actually paved way for the mushrooming of the private educational institutions thereby making a way for the deepening gorge in between the access of quality education to the under privileged class of the society,” he said in the petition.