Taking a lenient stand saying the academic year has begun, the Bombay High Court today granted three months time to five schools that have illegally constructed their building structures on government land to apply for regularisation.
A division bench of justices A S Oka and Revati Mohite Dere was hearing a PIL by Ali Asgar Tehsildar alleging that around eight schools in Malwani area of suburban Malad have illegally constructed extensions to their already existing structures without taking permissions.
Out of the eight schools, St Mathews, St Pauls and Mount Mary, although on private land, have received notice from municipal corporation for illegal construction.
The remaining five schools today accepted before the high court that they have illegally constructed the buildings but sought time to file applications before the civic body for regularisation.
“What education will you (schools) impart to students when your own schools are illegal? Only because students have been admitted and the academic session has begun we propose to show indulgence,” the high court said.
It granted the five schools three-months time to file their applications.
“If within three months the applications are not filed then the corporation is free to take decision in accordance with law. If application is filed then the same shall be decided within two months thereafter,” the high court said.
The bench also allowed an intervention petition filed by BJP MP Gopal Shetty who approached the court in the interest of the school children.
Shetty’s lawyer told the court that over 35,000 students will be affected if the schools are ordered to be demolished. The lawyer informed that since 2014 Shetty has time and again written letters to the civic body raising the issue but nothing has been done.
The petition has been posted for further hearing on July 29.