Delhi HC orders inspection of Mukherjee Nagar coachings

The court was also informed that around 21 centres have closed down on their own and notice of sealing has been issued to over 20.
New Delhi: Students being rescued after a fire broke out at a coaching institute, at Mukherjee Nagar area in New Delhi, June 15, 2023.
New Delhi: Students being rescued after a fire broke out at a coaching institute, at Mukherjee Nagar area in New Delhi, June 15, 2023. Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday directed inspection of the coaching centres operating in the Mukherjee Nagar area by a team of lawyers and fire department officials while seeking a report with respect to their status and safety.

A bench headed by Justice Yashwant Varma also asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to file a status report stating the total number of coaching centres in the area.

The court’s order came on a batch of cases concerning the operation of coaching centres in the area, including a case registered by it on its own after taking suo motu cognisance of a fire that broke out at a coaching centre there in June 2023.

During the hearing, the counsel for MCD informed the court that six coaching centres have been sealed on account of being non-compliant with the applicable regulations and action would be taken against other defaulters as well. The court was also informed that around 21 centres have closed down on their own and notice of sealing has been issued to over 20.

Amicus curiae advocate Gautam Narayan, assisting the high court in the matter, said that although some centres have closed their operation, new centres might have come up in their place.

“In view of the aforesaid, we call upon the MCD to submit a fresh status report setting out the total number of coaching centres which may be operating in Mukherjee Nagar as on date,” the bench ordered.

“We additionally constitute an independent team which would be headed by amicus curiae Gautam Nayaran and which would independently inspect the area and submit a report on coaching centres operating there and now many of them are in compliance (with the applicable regulations),” it further said.

“We further direct Delhi Fire Services to undertake an independent exercise of verification of the area in question and submit a report on non-conforming coaching centres that may be identified,” the court said, while listing the matter for hearing after 3 weeks.

Last year, the high court had registered a case by taking suo motu cognisance of a fire that broke out at a coaching centre in Mukherjee Nagar in June, where students were seen escaping the building using ropes. A preliminary inquiry pointed towards inadequate safety arrangements in these buildings.

Six centres sealed: MCD

The MCD informed the high court that six coaching centres have been sealed over non-compliance with the applicable regulations, adding, around 21 centres have closed down on their own and notice of sealing has been issued to over 20.

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