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Delhi high court

Delhi: HC displeased with unused government school structures

November 21, 2023

The Delhi High Court, on Monday, expressed concern over the alleged non-use of six newly constructed government school buildings due to outstanding payments, urging authorities to promptly address the issue for the students’ benefit.

The bench, led by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan, questioned the delay during the hearing, emphasizing the government’s responsibility to release funds and ensure the buildings’ utilization. The NGO Social Jurist, in a PIL, highlighted a two-year delay in taking possession of these buildings due to pending payments totaling Rs 16.67 crore to the Public Works Department (PWD).

The petitioner urged the government to convene a Council of Ministers meeting to approve the dues, enabling payments to the contractor and facilitating the use of these buildings.

While the government cited discrepancies with the contractor as a possible reason, the court urged a holistic approach, stressing the importance of using completed buildings for education and granting the government time to respond after issuing a notice on the petition.

The advocate for the petitioner argued that the authorities’ actions violated the fundamental right to education under the Constitution and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act. The petition highlighted the construction of 358 additional classrooms across six school buildings, yet their non-utilization due to the Delhi government’s failure to pay the PWD.

The court scheduled the next hearing for December.

Also read: Delhi High Court slams CBSE for ‘anti-student attitude’

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