Ruchika molestation case: Sacred Heart School’s recognition hinges on HC verdict’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/ruchika-molestation-case-sacred-heart-schools-recognition-hinges-on-hc-verdict/

Ruchika molestation case: Sacred Heart School’s recognition hinges on HC verdict’

This caveat was informed to the school by the Director of Public Instruction in February.

Sacred Heart School in Sector 26 will lose its recognition if the Punjab and Haryana High Court finds the school responsible for arbitrarily expelling Ruchika Girhotra at the behest of former Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) S P S Rathore.

This caveat was informed to the school by the Director of Public Instruction (DPI) in February. It has been made clear,by the DPI,that the “recognition” of the school will be “subject to outcome of the petition” pending in the Court.

An NGO,represented by advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal,had petitioned the court in 2009,demanding action against the school; which came up for resumed hearing on Wednesday. The school filed an application informing the High Court of the notice sent by the DPI.

Aggrieved,the school has taken the stand that the DPI’s condition has put the fate of 3,000 students in jeopardy. “How the same (DPI’s caveat) has happened is beyond our knowledge as the pendency of the petition should,in no way,interfere with the recognition granted to the school by the Educational Department of the Chandigarh Administration but it has for reasons best known to them played on their mind,” the school’s reply reads.

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The application further states: “The fate of 3,000 students has been jeopardised. The school has been functioning properly since its inception in 1968 and excelling year after year in all areas of student development. There are around 3,000 children studying in the school,of whom 600 belong to economically weaker sections (which is not required under any law but the same is done under our own initiative).”

Alleging that the school is being targeted by people “interested in getting cheap publicity,” the school has submitted that the future of the children is being played with. While affiliation is granted by the concerned Board,recognition is renewed by the Administration in each academic session. While renewing the recognition this year,the Administration has put in this caveat. Accepting the application,the High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the petitioner seeking its response. The case has been adjourned to May 16 for final arguments.

In addition to High Court’s case,the Administration has also stated that “recognition will be subject to outcome of pending action on the report of the enquiry conducted by Prerna Puri,IAS,the then SDM (South),Chandigarh.” The school authorities have been advised to “pledge the requisite reserve fund jointly in the name of district education officer and school authorities (management/Principal) in a phased manner i.e ten percent every year”.