Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has invalidated two separate circulars released by the Department of Public Education. These circulars had required private unaided schools to provide fire safety certificates for the renewal of their recognition, aiming to enforce strict fire safety standards within school grounds.
In response to a collective petition filed by 22 private educational institutions, including the Pragya Education Society, challenging the validity of the circulars issued by the Public Education Department, a bench led by Justice Ashok S. Kinaki has provided relief to the educational institutions. This relief has resulted in the revocation of both circulars.
Additionally, the High Court has made it clear that the government’s circulars, dated November 10, 2020, and March 10, 2021, do not pertain to private schools adhering to the state curriculum that were established before the academic year 2020-21. Further details regarding the court’s ruling on this matter will be provided in a comprehensive written format at a later date.
The dispute centered on the state government’s requirement for private schools to adhere to compulsory fire safety protocols and acquire the necessary certifications for the renewal of their accreditation. The government had additionally specified that the assessment of these safety measures must be carried out by engineers in alignment with the National Building Code.
Private educational institutions, however, challenged this requirement, arguing that it established discriminatory practices, especially considering that government schools were exempt from similar regulations. The recent High Court ruling has now nullified the necessity for a fire safety certificate when renewing the recognition of private unaided schools.