On Monday, the Bombay High Court prevented the Maharashtra school education department from granting final permission to five university colleges run by the Rao Educational Trust in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.
The division bank of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Judge Girish Kulkarni also prevented the department from acting on the provisional index number granted to the trust by the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Education.
The order came in an interim application filed by Manju Jaiswal, a city resident and trustee of an education trust, seeking the suspension of an order approved by the minister of school education Varsha Gaikwad on December 18, 2020, granting time to the Rao Educational Trust until the academic year 2021-2022, to meet the infrastructure requirements of junior universities.
Gaikad had also directed department officials to take further steps to give the trust the index number, to allow approximately 672 class XII students to fill out forms for the HSC exam. Accordingly, a provisional index number was awarded for five high schools managed by the trust in Andheri, Borivli, Sion, Kharghar in Navi Mumbai and Thane.
Jaiswal had vigorously objected to the order and submitted the provisional request to request the suspension of the order. His attorney, Lead Counsel Anil Sakhare, noted that the Minister of Education had no authority under the Maharashtra Self-Financing Schools (Establishment and Regulation) Act 2012 to approve such an order.
Sakhare also noted that the minister’s order was completely contrary to previous orders approved by HC at the request of Jaiswal, especially the order of January 28, 2020 whereby HC has prevented the government from considering any request to start a new school or to obtain permission for additional divisions or classes.
In November 2020, HC modified the January 28 order and allowed the government to consider 410 applications from existing schools, either for additional divisions into colleges or to start new colleges, after the government assured that applications will be considered. strictly in accordance with the Maharashtra School of Self Financing (Establishment and Regulation) Rules, 2020.
In his petition, Jaiswal has complained about the permits granted to various coaching classes to establish colleges because those institutions did not meet legal requirements, such as owned or leased 500-square-meter parcels and infrastructure mentioned in the enactment of 2012.
She has sought the cancellation of permits granted to various training classes to start college colleges and also an order to prevent the government from granting new permits for self-funded schools without strictly adhering to the provisions of the 2012 enactment.
The January 28 order was approved by HC after noting that the government machinery was not fully functional to implement the 2012 Law, and the important authorities under the promulgation were not notified or appointed.
In this context, HC had prevented the state government from considering any pending or new applications to start new schools under the 2012 Act.
The court had also prevented the government from renewing existing approvals or permits unless state or field authorities carried out a full inspection and scrutiny, as notified by the Rules, and ordered to hold all applications they seek. the renewal of existing permits, until such scrutiny and verification was carried out.