CHENNAI: Madras High Court has ordered notice on a PIL for a direction to the state government to ensure that all unrecognised schools in the State are shut by the end of this academic year (2015-16) and to transfer the students to other government/ government aided/unaided recognised schools in the neighbourhood.
The first bench of Chief Justice S Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana ordered notice on the PIL from activist A Narayanan of Valasarawalkam, returnable in two weeks. The matter will be taken up on March 7.
The PIL sought quashing two GOs and restrain the government from granting recognition to the schools, which have not fulfilled the norms specified in another GO dated July 21, 2004 relating to land area and infrastructural facilities.
According to petitioner, based on the report of Justice Sampath Commission of inquiry, which was appointed to probe into the Kumbakonam school fire accident, in which 94 students perished, and the recommendations of Prof.Chittibabu committee relating to infrastructural facilities for matriculation schools, the government issued an order on July 21, 2004 directing that every matriculation school should have to fulfill the minimum land area and other infrastructural facilities spelt out in the GO. By another two GOs seven years time was granted to fulfill the norms, which came to an end in 2011.
Thereafter, the school education department in 2013 constituted a 7-member committee to deal with the issue of minimum land area for giving recognition to those schools not fulfilling the norms and submit its recommendations. However, the said report has not seen the light of the day.
While so, the school education department has now proceeded to give temporary continual recognition till May 31, 2016 to as many as 746 matriculation schools, which have not fulfilled the conditions. Therefore, the government issued the two impugned orders, in utter violation of the reports of Justice Sampath and Chittibabu panels, GOs and the directions of the Supreme Court, Narayanan added.