Special Correspondent

Hostile discrimination: court

15 schools are in Malappuram, one in Kasaragod

Unaided schools not on the list had filed writ petitions

Kochi: The Kerala High Court, on Monday, quashed the decision of the State government to grant recognition to 15 unaided schools in Malappuram and one in Kasaragod.

Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, while quashing a notification issued by the Director of Public Instruction on the recognition, said there was a clear case of “hostile discrimination” and “violation of the rule of law.”

Managers of unaided schools not included in the list had filed writ petitions against the notification. They sought recognition for getting affiliation from the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Indian Council of Secondary Education.

The government policy was to give recognition to schools in extremely educationally backward regions in Muslim-dominated areas in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kasaragod, Kannur and Wayanad.

The government said its policy was that there should be a fair, just, transparent and equitable sanction of recognition. The government had laid down conditions, apart from the provisions in the Kerala Education Acts and Rules, for getting recognition.

The petitioners said 15 schools were from Malappuram district, out of which 12 were from Tirur. They contended that the government action was illegal.

The court accepted the contention that there was “an exclusive conferment of the benefits of the policy” to Malappuram, that too to Tirur. The contention of the petitioner that the action amounted to hostile discrimination, abuse of authority and a fraud on powers should be upheld. The “selective conferment” of the benefits was established. The action of the government was arbitrary, the court said.