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Delhi govt takes over 2 branches of pvt school, HC stays it within hrs

NEW DELHI: The state government moved to take over the running of two branches of Maxfort School, in Rohini and Pitampura, in response to a host of charges, including financial bungling, on Wednesday. However, the Delhi high court stepped in within hours and ordered status quo.

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Granting interim relief to the school management, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva posted the case for further hearing on Monday while asking the state why it had moved in such hurry . The government will take “no precipitative action” till Monday, it stated.

The court appointed a local commissioner to visit the schools, de-seal rooms and keep files wanted by the directorate of education in safe custody till the next date.

The takeover was approved by the LG on Tuesday .Wednesday’s order alleged that more than Rs 18 crore was “transferred” from the schools’ account to the trust running them and through that, to another trust. The school’s lawyer, Kamal Gupta, alleged in court that the government was rushing in with its takeover plan without issuing a notice or granting an opportunity to the management to respond to DoE’s charges.

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The school argued that as the order had been passed by the LG, it should be allowed to make a representation to him. “The basic principle is that whosoever will pass the order will have to hear -there’s no concept of delegated hearing. Why isn’t the LG giving us a hearing?” Gupta said.

“You have to give the school the opportunity to rectify .Whatever allegations of donations were there, the process of refunding was on. Those who were bringing the necessary documents were getting refunds. Also, there was nothing on siphoning of funds in the show-cause notice.”

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DoE has a list of charges, including collecting “capitation fee” (donations), “habitual non-cooperation” with inquiry committees, failing to implement 25% reservation for economically weak and disadvantaged students, and financial bungling. DoE has independently found that between 2009 and 2016, Rs 18.51 crore was “transferred” to Mohini Chandani Charitable Trust running the schools.Except for Rs 5.48 crore in 2011-12, it “has not been reflected in the returns submitted by the school”. Also, Sardar Jagat Singh Chadha Charitable Trust received Rs 85 lakh from the school trust in 2012-13 and 2013-14. “It is a deliberate and mala fide act of the management to divert money from the school fund accounts.”

In April 2011, the government issued show-cause no tices to the school, which was followed by several rounds of inquiry . After examining the school responses, the LG was “satisfied that the managing committee has neglected to perform the duties imposed on it under Delhi School Education Act 1973 and the rules made there under… It is expedient in the interest of school education to take over the management of this school”, the takeover order said.

source: Times Of India

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