Disaffiliation of school ‘extreme’, should be resorted to with ‘circumspection’: Delhi HC to CBSE

By: PTI | New Delhi |

Published: April 18, 2020 7:27:42 pm

The court also issued a notice to the CBSE seeking its stand by May 26. (Express Photo by Manoj Kumar / Representational image)

Disaffiliation and withdrawal of recognition of a school are extreme steps that affect academic progress of its students and ought to be resorted to after careful “circumspection”, the Delhi High Court has said.

Justice C Hari Shankar made the observation while putting on hold a March 12 order of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) withdrawing provisional affiliation of a south Delhi school.

The court also issued a notice to the CBSE seeking its stand by May 26 on the school’s plea challenging its disaffiliation. The court said reasons for withdrawal of affiliation involved disputed questions of fact which can be determined after a proper hearing of the school’s petition.

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It also said that even if there was an infraction by the school, it would have to be seen whether it was serious enough to warrant withdrawal of recognition and as a result affect the students’ fate.

“Disaffiliation and withdrawal of recognition, it is trite, are extreme measures which can mar, irreparably, the academic progression of affected students, and can be resorted to, if at all, only with extreme circumspection,” the court said.

It further said that keeping in mind the students’ interests and public objective of maximising reach of education, “till the next date of hearing (May 26), there shall be ad interim stay of the operation of the impugned order dated March 12”.

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According to the CBSE order, the reasons for disaffiliation were that a faculty member was appointed as a post-graduate teacher (PGT) when she did not have the requisite qualification, the principal was not qualified for the post, and the managing committee of the school was proprietary in nature.

The school contended that an October 2016 report of an inspection committee found that the teacher’s appointment as PGT was an oversight and the allegation regarding qualification of the principal was not true.

When CBSE stressed upon the third reason for disaffiliation — the managing committee being proprietary in nature — the court said it involved disputed questions of fact which can be decided only after a proper hearing of the petition. PTI HMP

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