HC stops shifting of ashram shalas to Marathwada
NAGPUR: In a setback to Maharashtra government's plans to shift tribal-residential schools, better known as ashram shalas, from Vidarbha to other regions, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Friday restrained it from doing so.
A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Pramod Kode issued show cause notice to principal secretary of tribal development department and state tribal development commissioner before fixing the plea for disposal on August 23.
The court's directives came while hearing a plea by Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) president Kishore Tiwari. He had alleged that the government, under pressure from influential leaders, has issued a Government Resolution (GR) on April 18. This order transferred ashram shalas at Kayar in Wani and Ner in Yavatmal district to Dhule and Nanded districts of Marathwada respectively, without specifying any reason. Firdos Mirza was counsel for the petitioner, who prayed for quashing of the April 18 GR.
According to Mirza, these schools were in operation since 1995-96 and were functioning smoothly till 2008. Then, they were forced to shut down on account of irregularities. Due to this, many tribal students were deprived of their right to education guaranteed to them under the Constitution of India.
When the petitioner came to know about plans to transfer these schools outside Vidarbha, he approached the chief minster and tribal development minister, but failed to get a positive response. In the meantime, the government invited applications to run these schools and received about 16 proposals for the same. Mirza contended that despite this the government decided to transfer these schools, which shows their apathy towards the region.