New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today said that construction of schools under the Right to Education (RTE) would prevail over building parking or commercial complexes. Also Read - Toolkit Case: Climate Activist Disha Ravi to be Produced in Patiala High Court Today

Directing maintenance of status quo on 2,400 square metre of land allotted for public utilities in the national capital, the high court asked the authorities to consider if the piece of land could be given to build a minority school, which has been functioning from tents after it was demolished during the Emergency over four decades ago. Also Read - Liquor Likely to Become Costly in Delhi. Here's Why

Observing that children needed schools to get education, a bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the piece of land, which the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has allotted for making parking and commercial complex, would not be used for the purpose till further orders. Also Read - Links Showing Deceased Woman as Hathras Rape Victim Blocked: Facebook, Twitter, Google to Delhi HC

The high court, which had earlier asked Delhi government and the authorities concerned to explore the possibility of allotting land for the minority school which was functioning from tents, also asked Lieutenant Governor (LG) to intervene in the matter since he is the head of land owning agency, Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

“There are children who need schools and Right to Education would prevail over any parking place and commercial complex,” the bench observed while ordering status quo at the site. It also asked the LG to look into the matter so that “justice is done to the children”.

The MCD had allotted the land, where a slaughter house was operating earlier, for construction of a parking lot and commercial complex. The slaughter house has been asked by the civic agency to shift from the site.

The high court directed the Delhi chief secretary to forthwith place the file before the LG for his consideration and posted the matter for hearing on July 13.

The court had earlier expressed concern over the situation of the school after it was told that the institution was functioning from tents.

It is hearing a PIL seeking reconstruction of building of the minority school which was demolished on June 30, 1976 during the Emergency.

In August 2015, the Delhi government had told the high court that they were keen to resolve the issue and exploring all possibilities to allot land for the school.

The PIL, filed by civil activist Firoz Bakht Ahmed, has contended that the state of affairs at the Qaumi School was “sad and pitiable” as it was functioning from the grounds of the Eidgah at Quresh Nagar in Old Delhi after its building was demolished.

The plea has alleged that despite promises of land and building, nothing was done and the school continues to function in a “tattered, tented and tinned structure, without a building” since 1976. It has contended that children from downtrodden and backward classes have to suffer due to threats of closure, makeshift classrooms, leaking roofs and no proper facilities.

The petition has said it was obligatory on the state to provide infrastructure including a school building and the civic authorities have failed to discharge the statutory onus. PTI PPS ABA SKV HMP PPS ARC ARC

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.