All schools in Delhi irrespective of recognition, come within the purview of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973

Delhi High Court: Deciding upon the issue as to whether the unrecognised schools in Delhi came under the purview of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973, the Single Bench of Valmiki J.    Mehta, J. held that the provisions of the Act, including filing an appeal under Section 8(3), will apply to employees even of unrecognised schools.

The petitioner had challenged the order of the Delhi School Tribunal dated 24-7-2014 by which it had dismissed the petitioner’s appeal filed under Section 8(3) solely on the groud that she was  an employee of an unrecognised school to which the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act did not apply.

The Court observed that the issue was no longer res integra as held by the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court in Social Jurist, A Civil Rights Group v. GNCT, 2008 SCC Online Del 176 that the Delhi School Education Act applies to all schools in Delhi whether they be recognised or unrecognised. The Court refused to rely upon the ratio of another Division Bench judgment in Shaheed Udham Singh Smarak Shiksha Samiti v. Santosh Verma, 2015 SCC Online Del 10868 which had taken the view that the Act did not apply to the unrecognised schools, as not a binding precedent because  the Division Bench could not have taken a contrary view to the earlier binding Division Bench judgment in Social Jurist. It is trite that a decision of one Bench is binding on another coordinate Bench of the same number of Judge or Judges.

Allowing the writ petition, the impugned order of the Delhi School Tribunal dated 24.7.2014 was  set aside and the matter was remanded back to the Tribunal to be decided on merits.[Praveen Bhatnagar  v.  Sanjivayya Memorial Trust, 2016 SCC Online Del 3849, decided on July 12, 2016]

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