KOCHI: Making it clear that unrecognised schools do not have the permission to function, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday upheld a single bench judgment quashing the government order granting permission to re-open Jawahar English Medium school where a UKG student was allegedly locked up in a kennel.
While dismissing the appeal filed by the Principal of the school and the manager, the Division Bench comprising Justice Antony Dominic and Justice Anil K Narendran observed that the state had no authority under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) to grant extension of time for submission of the application for recognition, for a period exceeding three years from the date of commencement of the Act. The Bench also rejected the contention of the school management that the school had time till December 31 for submitting application for recognition.
A pre-existing unrecognised school which failed to apply for recognition under the RTE Act can only be closed down. If an unrecognised school is permitted to impart elementary education, it would amount to flagrant violation of provisions under the RTE Act and Rules. If the court upholds the state government order on technicality and permits the school to be re-opened, it would perpetuate an illegality as the students will be forced to continue their studies in a school which does not have any recognition under the RTE Act to impart elementary education, the court observed.
After the alleged incident, the DPI had directed to shut down the school. It had also directed the principal to make necessary arrangements for admitting the students of the school to the nearby recognised schools.