The Bombay High Court has levied a cost of Rs. 1 lakh on parents of students of a Borivali school for filing a groundless case against the management for proposing a redevelopment of the school buildings. The court found that there was no indication as to “ how the management was indulging in mismanagement”.
Case Possibly Filed On Behalf of “Vested Interest”
In his order, Justice B R Gavai noted that there was possibly some substance to the management’s allegation that the petition had been filed on “behest of some other vested interest.”
He added that since there were other petitions that would look out for the interests of the students, the current petition was not needed.
He pointed out that filing petition “without there being a foundation,” and seeking “wild reliefs” would send a wrong signal and therefore imposed the costs quantified at Rs 1 lakh.
The petitioners have been directed to deposit the amount with Tata Cancer Hospital.
New Construction Suggested To Replace Dilapidated Buildings
The school management had suggested that the school be shifted on a temporary basis from Borivali West to the East side since most of the buildings were dilapidated and needed to be reconstructed.
However the parents claimed that this was a “game plan” by the school management to make use of the available vast stretch of land for “commercial exploitation”.
The court asked the management to give an undertaking that the new buildings be used only for “housing schools and other institutions” to which the management agreed.
School Management Responsive
Calling the attitude of the management responsive, the court pointed out that the management had accepted suggestions from “time to time” from the court regarding the interest of the students.
The counsel for the management argued for the petition to be dismissed with costs as the relief demanded by the petitioners was not related to the students’ interests and gave an impression of being sought at the behest of vested interests.
The relief asked for by the petitioners included a takeover by the state government. The court agreed with the management that the “the petitioners have made a direct attack on the management” under the excuse of protecting the students.