Shimla:  While hearing a suo-moto petition with regard to demolition of a school building and playground in Mandi, for construction of proposed shopping mall, State’s High Court has directed the state government to place on record the site plan along with the approval granted by the Town and Country Planning (TCP) as well as Municipal authorities.

The court also directed the State to inform the number of schools that were earlier functioning, how many students are presently enrolled with such schools and what is the proposal of the state government for the construction of new school buildings.

The orders have been passed by a Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua.

The petitioner, who is a student of Vijay Senior Secondary School, Mandi, has alleged that during the lockdown, the state government has demolished the school building, playground and stage, and the vacant space has also been covered.

The petitioner alleged that big shopping malls are proposed to be constructed there to benefit a few rich people and political leaders. He further alleged that the playground is projected as one of the perquisites for opening a private school, however, in the aforesaid school, the government itself has destroyed the playground.

He has also alleged that earlier there was a Primary Government School hosted in the building which has also been closed a few years ago and now the government is planning to close the Senior Secondary School also so that rich and influential people can be benefitted.

The petitioner has alleged that poor, orphan and migrant children are studying in the school. These students are being mentally harassed by the officials with threats of spoiling their results and are also being given various allurements.  

The Court has posted the matter for March 7 and has directed the State Government to place on record all the relevant records before the next date of hearing.