Anganwadis not educational institutions, rules High Court

Anganwadis do not come under the definition of educational institutions, the High Court of Kerala has ruled.

The court issued the order while dismissing two writ petitions, including the one filed by the office bearers of two residents’ associations, against the opening of a foreign liquor shop at Ponnurunni.

The petitioners contended that Abkari Shops Disposal Rules, 2002 (Kerala) prohibited establishment of foreign liquor-1 shop within 200 metres from educational institutions. They contended that an anganwadi was functioning within 100 metres from the building where the foreign liquor-1 shop was situated.

Declaration sought

The petitioners also sought a declaration that the establishment of the foreign liquor-1 shop in the building was illegal.

The petitioners contended that anganwadi was an institution “established by the Central government under its Integrated Child Development Service Programme for creating a base for proper mental, physical and social development of children of tender age.” The functioning of toddy shops and foreign liquor shops in its vicinity would affect the psychological and social well-being of such children, they contended.

However, the court rejected the contention of the petitioners.

Going by the plain meaning of the words used in the clause defining educational institution as contained in the rules, an anganwadi would not fall within the said clause, the court held.

I further held that there was “absolutely no scope for interpreting the definition of ‘educational institution’contained in the rules differently as contended by the petitioners.”

Incidentally, the opening of the shop at Ponnurunni was greeted by public protests as a section of the local residents opposed the decision. Protest marches and dharnas were also staged by some organisations against the opening of the outlet there.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 11:45:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/anganwadis-not-educational-institutions-rules-high-court/article19159025.ece

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