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The Delhi High Court, on Monday (July 2), issued notices to the Delhi government and Alok Punj Secondary School, situated in the national capital’s Karawal Nagar locality, on a public interest litigation alleging lack of a conducive atmosphere for education at the school. The Alok Punj Secondary School is fully-aided by the state government.

The petition says the government is violating the fundamental right to education of the 2,600 students enrolled to its classes from the 6th to the 12th standard and that the school is functioning without adequate infrastructure and academic faculty.

The petitioner has said that the school has been in existence since 1976, and has been receiving grants from the Delhi government since 1982. From June 1995, the school was brought under complete aegis of the government.

The petition claims that basic amenities like drinking water, functional toilets, science lab, computer lab, functional blackboards, clean classrooms, playground and sports equipments are almost absent in the school. It added that out of the total sanctioned teaching posts of 91, over 72 are lying vacant, and as many as 40 guest teachers are working at the school.

The petition alleges that the current state of the school is in violation of Delhi School Education Act, 1973 and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

It urged the court to direct the government to take over the ownership of the school land and construct a multi-storey building for Alok Punj Secondary School, and also establish it as a government school.

It may be noted that the petition comes at a time when the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has been showcasing its achievements in reforming school education apparatus in the national capital and claiming that its efforts would have borne better fruit had the Centre been more cooperative.

—India Legal Bureau

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