Writ Petition Maintainable against Private Schools in India- Supreme Court

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June 10, 2019

Recently the Supreme Court has upheld the maintainability of writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution against Private Unaided Schools.

Case name: Mawari Balika Vidyalaya v. Asha Srivastava & ors.

In the instant case, one of the intrinsic issue that fell for consideration before the Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court was whether a writ petition would be maintainable as against private unaided school.

Bench’s Verdict

The Supreme Court Bench in view of precedents and prevailing law held that the Writ Application in the case was maintainable in such a matter even as against the private unaided educational institutions.

While arriving at its decision the Apex Court relied on the below obiter dictum:

In the case of Raj Kumar v. Director of Education & Ors., it was held by the Court that while the functioning of both aided and unaided educational institutions must be free from unnecessary Governmental interference, the same needs to the reconciled with the conditions of employment of the employees of these institutions and provision of adequate precautions to safeguard their interests.

A similar observation was made by the Supreme Court in the case of Ramesh Ahluwalia v. State of Punjab & Ors., wherein it was noted by the Court that ‘any person or authority’ used in Article 226 are, therefore, not to be confined only to statutory authorities and instrumentalities of the State. They may cover any other person or body performing public duty. Mandamus is a very wide remedy which must be easily available ‘to reach injustice wherever it is found’. Technicalities should not come in the way of granting that relief under Article 226.

Finally, the Supreme Court quoted it’s ruling in Unni Krishnan and Zee Telefilms Ltd., wherein the Court opined that the writ petition would not maintainable merely because the respondent institution is a purely unaided private educational institution.

The entire case can be accessed here.