Bahra University

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh High Court had issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Education), Deputy Commissioner, Mandi and Deputy Director (Higher Education), Mandi, in a petition alleging destruction of a school building, playground 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 the lockdown, the State Government has physically wrecked and destructed the School Building, playground and stage and the vacant space has also been covered, giving the school a congested feeling. 

“Big shopping malls are proposed to be constructed there, which would benefit few rich persons and political leaders,” he alleged. 

The existence of a playground is projected as one of the perquisites for opening a private school, but here, the government itself has destroyed the playground, he alleged, adding that the local residents, media and social organizations are not coming forward due to fear of the government. 

Earlier a Primary Government School was housed 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 further alleged that if immediate respite is not provided by taking action in the matter, there is a possibility that some students may commit self-immolation in order to save the School.  

He has also claimed that Justice Swantanter Kumar, former Chief Justice, has also studied in the said School. 

The Court directed the respondents to submit their replies before the next date and posted the matter after two weeks.