The Kerala High Court on Friday quashed the regulations such as insistence of three acres of land irrespective of location, compulsory regulation of Malayalam as part of curriculum, requirement of 300 students and provision of unique identification brought in by the state for giving no-objection certificates (NoCs) to CBSE schools in the state.
“When the state enjoys the power to issue norms on infrastructure, it has to take a decision reasonably,” a Division Bench comprising Justice C N Ramachandran Nair and Justice C K Abdul Rahim said. According to the norms, the schools should have a minimum of 3 acres of land.
Appearing for the CBSE School Managements’ Association T P M Ibrahim Khan submitted that state has no authority to issue such a notification.
The court said that the norms regarding the land is arbitrary and impractical. It said that the CBSE affiliation rules provided that the school should have only a minimum of two acres of land and schools in towns with a population of 25 lakh and above should have only on acre of land. The court said that the price of land in cities range from `5 lakh and to Rs 20 lakh for a cent.
If the norm has to be followed, hardly any organisation could afford to invest massive money to purchase land and the existing schools would not be able to get the NoC for the renewal of the affiliation. It would be an interference with the fundamental rights of citizens.
“The practical solution is to insist on construction of multi-storey buildings in the limited space so that sufficient land will be available to the children to have play grounds and recreation facilities,” the court said.
Multi-storey buildings in towns with elevator facility will make the class room on higher floors which are free from sound and dust pollution.
It will ensure a congenial environment to studies, the court observed. Regarding compulsory teaching of Malayalam, the court said that the state could not interfere with the academic standards formulated by the CBSE/ICSE rules. Vacating another clause, the court said that the requirement of 300 students is not only contrary to the CBSE/ICSE rules of affiliation, but also is practically impossible.
Regarding the UID number, the court said that the government could not insist on the management to satisfy a condition which is not within their jurisdiction.