No writ to make government pay for funding school, rules court

Last Updated: Sun, Sep 16, 2012 12:40 hrs

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has held that it is not legally permissible to compel the central government to make grants to a school run by an NGO for handicapped children of army personnel for paying its teachers' salary at par with other government institutions.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: "Mandamus cannot be issued to the government to provide funds beyond their means."

The writ of "mandamus" (Latin for "we command) is either issued to oblige a person or the court or a body for the execution of public duty or imposed on them to restrain them from executing a particular act.

The court's direction came on a plea filed by the central social justice and empowerment ministry challenging the single judge order that asked central government to release more funds to Asha school for handicapped children run by the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) to pay salaries to teachers and other staff at par with their government employed colleagues.

In the order, passed this week but made available Sunday, the court ruled that if the government is compelled to provide funds in such a way, then other institutions who are getting financial support from government would come forward too for a similar purpose.

"Such a direction if given to Asha school, many other or similar other institutions who are getting financial support under the scheme formulated by the ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment would come forward and it may become naturally difficult for the government to meet those demands," the bench said.

"Therefore, direction to this effect given by the single judge to the appellant to release grant-in-aid commensurate to the requirement of Asha School to pay to its teachers and staff including the principal and the vice-principal, pay scales at par with the scales of pay given to the staff teachers and holders of corresponding posts in government schools is not legally permissible and we set aside the same," it added.

The court also opined: "Coming to the liability of the central government, it seems difficult to direct them to bear the financial burden, which may accrue if the salaries of the teachers are enhanced in the manner they are demanding."

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