Shimla: Holding the union cabinet decision to transfer 67 schools run by Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry for Tibetans to Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) as a gross violation of the constitution, Bharat Raksha Samity has stated that a decision compromising with the sovereignty of the country would be challenged before the courts.
Talking to reporters here Satish Kumar Singh, president Bharat Raksha Samity a little while ago demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh review the 10th January, 2013 cabinet decision and have it annulled because it not only had grave implications of creating a state within a state but was something that had been turned down twice earlier by the union government.
He said that the Tibetan Government in Exile has been seeking control of schools runs by Central Tibetan Schools Administration (CTSA) since 1980, when the demand first arose but the then prime minister Indira Gandhi firmly turned it down on security reasons.
The demand again came up when Arjun Singh was HRD minister from 2004-2009 but was again turned down, said Singh.
“Should the government not withdraw the decision, we are prepared to challenge it in the courts, including the Supreme Court,” said Singh.
Drawing attention to India being a soft state, he said that status of Tibetan Government in Exile running a parallel government within the Indian union, with its own functional parliament and a Supreme Court, was itself an infringement on the Indian Constitution.
Now handing over Government of India property worth thousands of crores to this entity was firmly establishing a state within a state, he added.
Singh pointed out that most of the 67 schools were located on the sensitive Himalayan belt and were within 10 minutes of flying time from Tibet which is firmly under the control of China.
Handing over these schools to CTA, who retain the refugee status and are considered foreigners, under law cannot buy land or property in India, he said.
Singh also said that the union government decision to hand over landed property to foreigners without consulting the respective state governments was questionable.
He pointed out that section 118 of HP Land Reforms and Tenancy Act, the Uttar Pradesh Zamindhari Abolition Act and Uttarakhand Land Act barred foreigners from buying or owning property in their respective states.
He added that the union government contention that the decision would help to potentially save Rs 69.29 crore over a 5 year period was a fallacy to justify an unconstitutional decision.
The January cabinet decision had declared that the union government would provide CTA Rs 43 crore annually plus an annual increment of 5 percent and the transfer would benefit 2220 residential students and 6455 day scholars in these schools.
The CTSA schools are to be transferred to Department of Education of CTA, or any other society run by CTA over three year period.
CTSA is a society established in 1961 for establishing, managing and running schools for educating the children of Tibetan refugees who migrated to India.
As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post.
Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.