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HC issues notice to govt over Education Rules Amendment

Post by on Thursday, June 23, 2022

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Srinagar, June 22: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Wednesday issued notice to the government on a plea challenging the amended rules in J&K School Education Rules 2010 under the J&K School Education Act 2002 wherein additional conditions have been imposed, amongst others, for purposes of registration and recognition of the private schools.
 
A court of Justice Moksha Kazmi Khajuria directed the authorities to file a response to the plea and to maintain the status quo.
 
The court sought response from Principal Secretary to government, School Education department (SED), Director SED, Deputy Commissioners of Srinagar, Budgam, Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Pulwama and J&K Board of School Education through its Chairman.
 
On April, 15, 2022, the government amended the rules in J&K School Education Rules, 2010 under the Education Act 2002 to provide for fresh guidelines relating to use of land and building structures by private schools in UT of J&K.
 
The plea filed by 33 private schools of various districts through counsel Zaffar Shah questioned the constitutional validity of the amendments, circulars/notification and also the course adopted by the government authorities in dealing with the rights of the local community on the lands.
 
It stated that the additional conditions require the private schools to obtain a certificate, format of which is also provided by the Rules, from concerned Tehsildars.
 
It was submitted in the plea that the petitioners hold land of MakboozaAhle-Islam on which petitioner schools have been established.
 
The petitioners contended that having regard to the position in law as also a decision of the Supreme Court, in terms of the amendments and the notifications/circulars issued thereunder, no such situation can be created wherein the schools will have to be closed.
 
"In fact, the amendments provide for taking over the management of the school, in case no objection certificate is not obtained," they submitted..
 
All these issues are of serious nature and adversely affect the student community, the plea says.
 
Apart from seeking quashing of amended rules and circulars issued by JKBOSE from time to time related to the matter, the petitioner schools have sought that the notification amending Education Rules of 2010 be declared ultra vires to the Constitution and of no legal consequence.
 
They also sought that respondents be directed to accord registration or recognition to the petitioner schools as was being done before issuance of amendment of the rules and circulars.
 
They further prayed for a direction to the respondents that the petitioner schools be allowed to operate and function without any demur from the respondents and without interfering in their internal autonomy or in their affairs.
 
The petitioner schools also demanded that the respondents be directed to accord regularization of lands as regards the present holdings of the petitioner schools in accordance with law.
 
They further prayed that J&K BOSE be directed to accept the requisite forms relating to the registration of the students who are required to or intend to appear in the board examinations of such classes of which the Board conducts examinations and to complete all formalities in this behalf and to declare results of students.
 
As per the government order issued in April, the J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) has made the amendments in the J&K School Education Rules, 2010 in exercise of the powers conferred by section 29 of the J&K School Education Act, 2002.
 
As per the amendments in the rules, in rule 4, after sub-rule (2A), sub-rule 2(B) will be added wherein it is made mandatory that the application shall be accompanied by no-objection certification regarding land use issued by the J&K revenue department besides the documents relating to possession of the land required for building, playground.
 
These documents have to be submitted in case the applicant is the owner or a lease deed with a minimum period of 10 years or in case a private school is proposed to be run in a rented land or building.
 
"Documents as mentioned in clauses (i) and (ii) above in case of a private school already established shall be produced within a period as may be prescribed by the government," the order reads.
 
It stated that in rule 4, sub-rule (3), after clause (b), a clause has been added that a committee as may be constituted by the concerned Director School Education will inspect the land records of all private schools at any time.
 
However, Rule 9 of the Education Act shall be omitted as per the new amendments.
 
The order further reads that in Rule 12, in sub-rule (1), after the word, “de-recognize”, the words, “de-recognize, and take over its management or both” will be substituted accordingly.
 
In rule 12, after sub-rule (1), the government has made certain amendments in the rule under which sub-rule (2) will be added accordingly.
 
"(2) In cases, where the management of any school(s) is taken over by the government under sub-rule (1) above, the teachers/staff working in a said school(s) shall have no right/claim of regularisation in the department/government,” the order reads.
 

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