SHIMLA---------While hearing a suo moto petition with regard to demolition of a school building, playground etc. in Mandi, for construction of proposed shopping mall, the High Court of H.P., has directed the State Government to place on record the site plan alongwith the approval granted by the TCP as well as Municipal authorities. The court also directed the State to inform the number of schools which were earlier functioning, how many students are presently enrolled with such schools and what is the proposal of the State Government for construction of new school buildings.
The Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua, passed these orders in a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation, on a letter addressed to the Chief Justice, by a student of Vijay Senior Secondary School, Mandi.
The petitioner has alleged that during lockdown, the State Government has demolished the school building, playground and stage etc. and the vacant space has also been covered. He has further alleged that big shopping malls are proposed to be constructed there to benefit few rich people and political leaders. He has alleged that the playground is projected as one of the perquisites for opening a private School, however, in the aforesaid school, the government itself has destroyed the playground. He has also alleged that earlier there was a Primary Government School hosted in the building which has also been closed a few years ago and now the government is planning to close the Senior Secondary School also, so that rich and influential people can be benefitted.
The petitioner has alleged that poor, orphan and migrant children are studying in the school and the students are being mentally pressurized by the officials with threats of spoiling their results and are also being given various allurements.
The Court has directed the State Government to place on record all the relevant record before next date of hearing. The matter has been posted for 07.03.2022.