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Where will you shift students of 100-yr-old Rajputana Rifles school: HC asks Army, Delhi govt

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court asked the Army and the AAP government on Tuesday where did they propose to shift the students studying in a dilapidated 100-year-old school building in the cantonment area here.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the Army and the Delhi government to give details of the class-wise vacancies in the nearby schools, where the 326 students of the Rajputana Rifles Heroes Memorial Senior Secondary School could be accommodated.
"We want to see what is the capacity of these schools. Whether there are vacancies there. Where will the children go?

"Will they sit in the corridor or on the terrace or under a banyan tree," the bench said and asked the Army how was it seeking relocation of the children into nearby schools without first ascertaining if there were any vacancies there.
The bench also said the children should have been moved to other schools by now and asked, "What if something were to happen?"

When the additional standing counsel of the Delhi government, Sanjoy Ghose, said the authorities were acting in good conscience to find a better solution to the problem, the court said, "Is good conscience an argument when the building is in a dilapidated state and if something were to happen?"

The bench also asked the Army whether it had any other plans for the 3.229-acre land where the 100-year-old school was located as it was unwilling to hand over the site to the Delhi government for building a new school there.
The Army said it was a reserved land, classified as A2 according to a 1933 notification, and therefore, could not be handed over to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
To this, the court remarked that the Army could have officers' bungalows on land classified as A1, where defense installations and munition depots were also located, but it could not have a school for children on a land classified as A2.
The bench directed the Army and the Delhi government to file affidavits by August 5 indicating where the children could be shifted.
The order came on a PIL filed by NGO Social Jurist, which has alleged that the Rajputana Rifles School, in existence since 1919 and taken over by the Delhi government in 1975, is in a horrible condition.
Earlier, the Delhi government had said while it could accommodate the students in other schools, it needed the school in question as its other educational institutions were "overburdened".
The plea has said though the school is open for all, it mainly caters to the children of the servants of military officials, who are not in a position to educate their kids in private schools.
It has alleged that the school lacks basic amenities, including drinking water, functional toilets, science and computer laboratories, clean classrooms and a proper boundary wall and several posts of teaching staff are lying vacant.

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First Published: Jul 30 2019 | 7:56 PM IST

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