Friday, September 29, 2023

Court Cannot Pass An Order Contrary To Statutory Rules In A PIL: Delhi HC

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The Delhi High Court on Friday has said, in a PIL the Court cannot pass an order contrary to statutory rules, especially when the validity of the rules has not been challenged while dismissing a PIL filed seeking similar Summer and Winter Holidays for private schools same as that of government schools.

A division bench presided by Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula of Delhi High Court while conducting hearing through video conferencing noted that the public interest litigation is to be used to advance causes of helpless and poor individuals who do not have the capacity or wherewithal to approach the courts. 

The Court further observed that “the salary of teachers and staff of both local bodies and private unaided schools is reasonably good and they have resources to approach this Court in the event they are aggrieved by any direction of either the State government or private unaided schools.”

The Court passed its order on the plea filed by Ms. Apoorva Kumar seeking direction for the Delhi Government to consider both the government and government-aided schools and unaided private recognized schools of Directorate of Education and Local Bodies equally with regard to timings and summer vacations.

Counsel appearing for Ms. Apoorva submitted that the present writ petition has been filed to espouse the cause of teachers and staff of local and private schools.

Whereas, Counsel appearing for the Delhi Government that “Ms. Apoorva has not taken into account statutory rules, namely, Rules 31 and 32 of the Delhi School Education Rules, 1973 which specifically provide that private unaided recognized schools shall specify their timings, subject to the condition that the total school hours in a year shall not be less than 1000 hours.” He further states that the schools have the flexibility to fix their calendar.

The bench while dismissing the petition observed that the private unaided schools the present public interest litigant intends to whittle down the authority/flexibility which has been statutorily conferred on private unaided schools – which is legally impermissible.

Read the order here;


-India Legal Bureau

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