Shimla. September 24, 2021
The High Court of H.P. today issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary(Education), Deputy Commissioner, Mandi and Deputy Director(Higher Education), Mandi, in a petition alleging destruction of school building, Playground etc. of Vijay Senior Secondary School, Mandi, by the State Government.
A Division Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua passed these orders on a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation on a letter addressed to the Chief Justice by one student of the Vijay Senior Secondary School. The petitioner has alleged that during lockdown, the State Government has physically wrecked and destructed the School Building, playground and stage etc. and the vacant space has also been covered, giving the school a congested feeling. He has alleged that big shopping malls are proposed to be constructed there, which would benefit few rich persons and political leaders. He has alleged that existence of playground is projected as one of the perquisites for opening a private School, but here, the government itself has destroyed the playground. The local residents, media and social organizations are not coming forward due to fear of the government. There was earlier a Primary Government School in the building, which has also been closed a few years ago and now the government is illegally plotting to close the Senior Secondary School also, so that rich and influential persons can be accommodated.
The petitioner has alleged that poor, orphaned 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. He has alleged that if immediate respite is not provided by taking action in the matter, there is possibility that some student may commit self immolation in order to save the Schoool. He has also alleged that Hon'ble Mr.Justice Swantanter Kumar, former Chief Justice, has also studied in the said School.
The Court directed the respondents to submit their reply before next date and posted the matter after two weeks.