School on Panchayat land allowed on ground of meaning use of panchayat land: Punjab High Court.

The Punjab High Court, in BAAS Educational Trust, GBP School v/s State of Haryana and others (CWP-12593-2015), on 11th April, 2023, held that running of school on panchayat premises constitutes panchayat’s duty of dissemination of education. The judgement was presided by Honorable Mr. Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Honorable Mr. Justice Kuldeep Tiwari.


With the objective to impart holistic education, army officials and some foreign nationals constituted the petitioner-trust. The village sarpanch announced the school to be functional within the panchayat premises, however with the pre-condition of ownership of the building to constructed to be retained with the Gram Panchayat. Later,the respondents took a strong view of the usage of panchayat land for private/ commercial undertaking. The trust approached the court after an order was issued to remove the construction termed as illegal from the panchayat land.


The court put forth the observation that the petitioner-trust was not engaged in a commercial activity, but was imparting a holistic qualitative education based on minimal fees. The court held Section 21 of the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 which highlighted the statutory duties to be undertaken by the Panchayat. “Gram Panchayats concerned are encumbered with a statutory duty to ensure promotion of public awareness, and, participations in primary and secondary education, besides, are statutorily injuncted to ensure full enrolment, and, attendance in primary and middle schools, and, its management” was read from the said act. Thereby the court held that dissemination of education was the duty of the gram panchayat to the children of the concerned village.


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