Government Completely Free To Take Action Against Madrasas Involved In Inappropriate Activities: Allahabad High Court

Government Completely Free To Take Action Against Madrasas Involved In Inappropriate Activities: Allahabad High Court

Prayagraj, Sep 10 (TNA) The Allahabad High Court has refused to quash the SIT report submitted in November last year which had found that 219 out of 313 madrassas in Azamgarh district were being run only on paper.

The Allahabad High Court, while dismissing petitions challenging the state government's action against madrassas following the report of the Special Investigation Team that inspected madrassas in Uttar Pradesh, said that the State Government Act, 2004 (UP Board of Madrassa Education Act, 2004 ).

The Government is fully empowered to take immediate action even in certain emergencies without any reference to the Board (Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasa Education). The said order was passed by a single bench of Justice Kshitij Shailendra while dismissing the petitions related to Anjuman Siddhikiya Jamia Nurul Oloom and four others.

It is alleged that these madrassas operating on paper availed wrongful benefits under the Madrassa Modernization Scheme. Under the Madrasa Modernization Scheme, there was a provision to provide teachers and financial assistance to Madrasas for teaching various subjects.

It was alleged in the petitions that the action of the state government against him was one-sided. Therefore, the SIT report and the resulting decisions should be quashed. The court said in its order that the Uttar Pradesh Madrasa Education Board and the state government are not powerless or ineffective. If in any way any illegality, irregularity, defect or misrepresentation etc. comes to notice, from which it can be concluded that a Madrasa has been wrongly recognized or the conditions of recognition are being violated, then the recognition will be canceled. Immediate action can be taken for this.

It is noteworthy that on the basis of a report filed by the SIT constituted by the state government in 2022, a proposal for various actions including registration of FIR against the officials of the petitioner madrassas under various sections of the IPC was issued. The petitioners argue that the madrassa authorities were never given a chance to participate in the SIT investigation or the decision-making process of the committee headed by the Chief Secretary of the state government.

On the other hand, Additional Superintendent of Police, State SIT, UP, Lucknow filed a counter affidavit and informed that in 2020, 313 madrassas were investigated and if various improper activities and anomalies were found, it was decided to investigate through SIT.

In the investigation, 72 out of 313 madrassas were found not to conform to the standards, hence it was recommended to withdraw the recognition of these 72 madrassas and to proceed with departmental action against the employees/officers who gave the recognition.

Apart from this, 219 madrassas were found non-existent, which were running only on paper. The SIT found that the madrassas which were shown running were shown only to obtain government assistance. Finally, after hearing the arguments of all the parties, the Court concluded that although the SIT report mentions action against 313 madrassas, it would not be appropriate to quash the entire report based on the challenge of only one madrassa.

Therefore, while rejecting the prayer of the petitioners to quash the SIT report and the consequential decision of the State Government, the Court also quashed the earlier interim orders, under which the proceedings of the State Government against the petitioners were stayed.

The state government counsel argued that the SIT was constituted to investigate various complaints against madrassas, which submitted its report on November 30, 2022, and it was placed before a committee headed by the Chief Secretary.

He said that this committee had proposed action against various madrassas in a meeting on December 19, 2022. At the same time, the petitioners argued that the Madrasa officials were neither allowed to join the SIT investigation nor to present their side before the resolution passed on December 19, 2022.

The News Agency