The High Court of Uttarakhand has modified its order restraining the State Government from buying luxury cars, furniture and air conditioners etc, after it noticed that the State had failed to provide schools with bare minimum facilities such as benches, desks, blackboards, hygienic separate toilets for boys and girls, water purifiers and ceiling fans, as per the court directions.
The Court has now permitted the State to buy “need based items i.e. water purifiers taking into consideration the summer season, that too, by the approval of the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand.” It, however, clarified that the State is still not permitted to buy luxury cars, furniture, ACs, etc, till further Court orders.
The Bench comprising Justice Alok Singh and Justice Rajiv Sharma had, on Thursday, noted that the State had failed to implement an order dated 19 November, 2016, wherein the Court had issued the following mandatory directions to the State Government:
The Court had then summoned the Secretary (Education), State of Uttarakhand. The Secretary had informed the Court that the matter was taken up by the Finance Department of the State on 14 March, but no response had been received from it yet.
“It reflects a very sorry state of affairs. The peremptory directions were issued by the Court on 19.11.2016, to arrest the falling standards of education in the State of Uttarakhand and to provide at least bare minimum infrastructure and wherewithal in Government run schools… Since, the State Government miserably failed to provide minimum bare facilities in schools inter alia benches, desks, blackboards, hygienic separate toilets for boys and girls, Water Purifiers and ceiling fans, the State Government is restrained from buying luxurious Cars, Furniture and Air Conditioners etc. till further orders of this Court,” the Court had thereafter ordered.