March 4, 2021 3:07:11 am
THE DELHI High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi government to expeditiously take a decision on a family’s request for transfer of land measuring 5,000 square yards in Karawal Nagar to the state for building a senior secondary-level government school. Since 2012, the land owners have been asking the authorities to transfer the land ownership to the government for the purpose of building a government school on it.
Describing the petition as an unusual case, Justice Prathiba M Singh said the petitioners have approached the court with a “unique prayer” where they wish to vest their private land with the government “for a social purpose”, and directed the Delhi government to take an “expeditious decision” in the matter.
While asking the government to file an affidavit within two weeks, the court also asked it to reply regarding the request for renaming the school in the name of the original land owner, Mansa Ram, who died in 2009. The case will be next heard on April 30.
In 1976, Ram had built Alok Punj Secondary School on 2,000 square yards of the land at Karawal Nagar and since 1995, it has been running on 100 percent government grant. However, due to the bad condition of the building, the High Court in 2018 ordered moving students to some other building.
As per the petition filed through advocate Ashok Aggarwal, since September 2018, there has been no activity on the land where the school is originally located, adding that it is being misused by anti-social elements.
“The petitioners’ right from the very beginning wanted to transfer the ownership of the land unconditionally to Delhi government so as to enable respondent government to build a multi-storey comprehensive Senior Secondary School at the said land to cater to not only students who are already studying there but other students who also prefer to come and study,” reads the petition, adding that the government has been totally unresponsive to the call.
In the petition, Ram’s legal heirs and children Anup Singh, Satish Kumar and Anoopi said that the inaction of the government on their request for transfer of the land is affecting the education of thousands of students enrolled in the school and those who want to get admission in a government school. A request to the government authorities in this regard was last made in June 2019, the plea adds.
“This land is in the name of my father, there is no interference from any society. Being the legal heir of my father, I pray… please acquire the land and build a modern school equipped with modern facilities so that the society can benefit. Your government is making a valuable contribution to education. Under that only you should save the school. I do not want any money for this land but the name of the school should be changed from Alok Punj Sec School to Late Sh Mansa Ram Ji Alok Punj Sec School,” the letter sent to the Delhi government by Anup Singh reads.
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