1. Heard Shri B. G. Kulkarni, learned Counsel for the petitioner, Shri A. B. Choudhari, learned Government Pleader for respondent Nos. 1 and 2 and Shri V. R. Manohar, learend Senior Counsel for respondent No. 3.
2. Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith by consent of the parties.
3. Shri Kulkarni, learned Counsel for the petitioner has contended that the petitioner is a registered association of managements of recognized schools in the State of Maharashtra. The power of granting permission to start new Primary, Secondary or Higher Secondary School is vested in the State of Maharashtra-respondent No. 1 as per Secondary School Code. However, this Court by its judgment in the case of Gramvikas Shikshan Prasarak Mandal v. State of Maharashtra and Ors reported in 2001(1) Mh.L.J. 776 issued mandatory directions to be followed by the State Government while granting permission to start new schools. It is contended that respondent No. 3 vide impugned order dated 16-5-2006 granted permission to start 1495 new Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools in the State of Maharashtra from Academic Session 2006-2007 in total breach of mandatory norms and therefore, the impugned order, is unsustainable in law and liable to be quashed and set aside.
4. At the outset, Shri Manohar, learned senior counsel for respondent No. 3, has made a statement that the State Government shall prepare a Master Plan, as per direction No. 1, fix quota for grant of permission to the Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary Private Schools as per procedure prescribed in direction No. 2, similarly, State will follow other procedure stipulated in direction Nos. 3 to 7 given in paragraph 7 of the judgment of this Court rendered in the case of Gram Vikas Shikshan Prasarak Mandal (supra) in letter and spirit in future while granting permission to open new schools in the State of Maharashtra. Shri Manohar, learned senior counsel has submitted that the entire exercise shall be completed by the State, as far as possible, within a period of six months.
5. We have considered the contentions canvassed by the counsel for the petitioner as learned Senior Counsel.
6. This Court had an occasion to consider norms and standards for establishment of new Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools in the State of Maharashtra while considering the issue involved in the writ petition filed by Gram Vikas Shikashan Prasarak Mandal, Sondoli. This Court while clarifying the policy and scheme which was formulated by the State Government in regard to the norms and standards for establishment of new Primary and Secondary Schools in the State of Maharashtra in paragraph 7 of the judgment in case of Gram Vikas Shikshan Prasarak Mandal (supra) given as many as seven suggestions and also stipulated the procedure required to be followed by the State Government, those are:
1) Preparation of Master Plan.
2) Quota for School Permission.
3) Application for permission to start a school.
4) Scrutiny of Applications.
5) Grant-in-aid to Private Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary schools.
6) Selection of Teaching and non-teaching staff.
7. The learned Advocate General during the course of hearing of said writ petition had accepted that these suggestions shall be incorporated in the policy of the State Government while formulating norms and standards for establishment of new Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools in the State of Maharashtra and therefore, by necessary implication have become part and parcel of the policy of the State of Maharashtra in this regard. It is therefore, evident that the permission to open Primary, Secondary or Higher Secondary School can only be granted by the State if the application made by the institute/individual seeking such permission, is in conformity with the procedure stipulated in paragraph 7 of the abovereferred judgment as well as after fulfilling other conditions applicable in this regard and not otherwise.
8. It is not in dispute that the State Government has neither prepared the Master Plan nor fixed quota for grant of permission to open new schools, year-wise, and by completely ignoring the directions given by this Court in case of Gram Vikas Shikshan Prasarak Mandal (supra), granted permission to open as many as 1495 new Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools in the State of Maharashtra from Academic Session 2006-2007, vide order dated 16-5-2006, which is not only in breach of procedure prescribed in this regard by this Court but also totally inconsistent with the norms laid down by this Court in the said judgment. Therefore, the order impugned is completely misconceived and cannot be sustained in law, hence, is quashed and set aside.
Rule made absolute in the above terms. No order as to costs.