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Delhi High Court directs inspection of coaching centres in Mukherjee Nagar | Latest News Delhi


The Delhi High Court on Friday directed inspection of the coaching centres operating in the Mukherjee Nagar area by a team of lawyers and the fire services here while seeking a report with respect to their status and safety.

The court was also informed that around 21 centres have closed down on their own and notice of sealing has been issued to over 20. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo) (File)

A bench headed by Justice Yashwant Varma also asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to file a status report stating the total number of coaching centres in the locality.

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The court’s order came on a batch of cases concerning the operation of coaching centres in the area, including a case registered by it on its own after taking suo motu cognisance of a fire that broke out at a coaching centre there in June 2023.

During the hearing, the counsel for MCD informed the court that six coaching centres have been sealed on account of being non-compliant with the applicable regulations and action would be taken against other defaulters as well.

The court was also informed that around 21 centres have closed down on their own and notice of sealing has been issued to over 20.

Amicus curiae advocate Gautam Narayan said that although some centres have closed their operation, new centres might have come up in their place.

“In view of the aforesaid, we call upon the MCD to submit a fresh status report setting out the total number of coaching centres which may be operating in Mukherjee Nagar as on date,” the bench, also comprising Justice Ravinder Dudeja, ordered.

“We also additionally constitute an independent team which would be headed by amicus curiae Gautam Nayaran and which would independently inspect the area and submit a report on coaching centres operating there and now many of them are in compliance (with the applicable regulations),” it further said.

The court asked the member secretary of Delhi State Legal Services Authority to nominate five empanelled lawyers to assist Narayan in the exercise.

“We further direct Delhi Fire Services to undertake an independent exercise of verification of the area in question and submit a report on non-confirming coaching centres that may be identified,” the court said, while directing that the matter be listed for hearing after 3 weeks.

The court said it would also hear on the same date a petition by the Coaching Federation of India assailing the inclusion of coaching centres in the definition of “educational buildings”, thus requiring them to employ certain specific measures for fire safety etc.

In February 2020, DDA modified its Unified Building Bye Laws-2016 (UBBL-2016) including Coaching Centres in the definition of ‘Educational Buildings’.

Counsel for the federation said the coaching centres want the children to be safe but their inclusion as “educational institute” was arbitrary.

The federation has earlier argued that under the UBBL, educational institutes are required to have several features such as two staircases and a playground which may not be possible in an already existing residential building.

Last year, the high court had registered a case on its own by taking suo motu cognisance of a fire that broke out at a coaching centre in Mukherjee Nagar in June and saw students climbing down the building using ropes.

A preliminary inquiry suggested that the fire started from an electricity metre board in the five-storey building, the officials said.

According to the police, around 250 students were attending classes at the building — Bhandari House — at the time.

The high court has earlier ruled that “fire safety is a must” and all coaching centres must either comply with their statutory requirements under the Delhi Master Plan, 2021 and other applicable regulations or face closure.



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