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Delhi HC stays AAP govt hand as it moves in to take over two branches of Maxfort School

The high court issued a stay on the takeover proceedings, and appointed two lawyers as court commissioners to “take charge” of the situation.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi |
August 4, 2016 4:23:43 am
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The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the AAP government not to take any action in connection with its move to take over two branches of a city-based private unaided school. The high court issued a stay on the takeover proceedings, and appointed two lawyers as court commissioners to “take charge” of the situation.

Earlier in the day, taking the first such action against a private school for violating rules, the Directorate of Education moved to take over Maxfort School Pitampura and Maxfort School Rohini for alleged fraud in filing financial documents and violation of rules regarding charging of fees.

The Lieutenant Governor had on Tuesday granted approval to the decision of the Directorate of Education (DoE) to ‘take over’ the two branches for allegedly “accepting illegal donations” for admissions, and “siphoning off funds” from the school “through various societies and bank accounts”.

The DoE had also alleged that the school had failed to return excess fee to parents despite court orders, and had filed “falsified documents” and “fabricated information” regarding admissions and fee to deny admissions to students in the Economically Weaker Sections category.

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The DoE had issued a showcause notice to the school in April for the alleged violations, and alleged that the school authorities “failed to cooperate” with the district magistrate in the verification process and “refused to allow inspection of school records”.

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The area’s SDM, police and DoE staff reached the schools to seal them in the morning. The school authorities approached the high court, alleging that they had not been given a hearing by the Lt Governor prior to the ‘take over’ orders being issued.

The bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva directed a status quo on the proceedings, and appointed the court commissioners to secure the documents and computers available on the school premises. “No precipitate action be taken against the school,” said the bench, which will hear the matter Monday.

The plea by the two schools, filed through advocate Kamal Gupta, alleged the Lt Governor had not given any hearing to the school, but had ‘approved’ the order. According to the school, the Director of Education had given a hearing to the school authorities in May, following which applications had been moved by the school for a hearing before the Lt Governor.

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