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Judiciary

There can't be school without playground: SC [Read Judgment]

By LawStreet News Network      09 March, 2023 08:31 PM      0 Comments
There can't be school without playground: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said there cannot be a school without a playground, while coming down heavily upon the Punjab and Haryana High Court for allowing encroachment upon the land meant for it.

"There cannot be any school without playground. Even the students, who study in such a school are entitled to a good environment," a bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna said.

Acting upon a petition filed by the Haryana government, the court said the High Court has "committed a very serious error" in directing to legalise the unauthorised occupation and possession made by the original writ petitioners (Satpal and others) on payment of market price.

"Even the other directions issued by the High Court are not capable of being implemented, namely, to segregate the vacant land from the residential house and which can be separated and utilised for earmarked purpose, i.e., school premises," the bench noted.

The court also pointed out the unauthorised construction here is in such a manner and even some areas are not used for residential purpose and some of the area is covered by vegetation and therefore, it is not possible to segregate and separate the same, which can be used for school premises.

"There is no other panchayati land and/or other land, which is available, which can be used as school premises / playground. The adjacent land belongs to some private persons and they are not ready to part with their land to be used as school premises / playground," the bench said.

The top court set aside and quashed the judgment and order passed by the High Court and the directions issued to legalise the unauthorised occupation and possession made by the original writ petitioners on the land, which is earmarked for school premises /playground.

However, the court granted the original writ petitioners 12 months’ time to vacate the land, which is occupied by them unauthorisedly.

"If within one year, they do not vacate the lands in question, the appropriate authority is directed to remove their unauthorized and illegal occupation and possession," the bench ordered.

The court found that in the instant case, it cannot be disputed that the original writ petitioners are in illegal and unauthorised occupation of the Gram Panchayat land to the extent of 5 kanal and 4 marla out of 11 kanals and 15 marla reserved for the purpose of the school.

The High Court had ordered the authorities to utilise the vacant land for school purposes and take double of the occupied land from the writ petitioners.

[Read Judgment]



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