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Allahabad – High court grants permission to UP government to investigate alleged Illegal madrasas

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Lucknow/New Delhi.

The Allahabad High Court has upheld the SIT probe into several Madrasas at Azamgarh based on powers accorded to the State Government under the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasa Education Act, 2004.

The Court held that under Section 13 of the Act, 2004, the State was empowered to take immediate action consistent with the Act without reference to the Board in certain circumstances. It was within the statutory powers of the State to call upon the Head of Madrasas or its officials to produce documents for verification at any time, it said. In such cases where the statute empowers the State to carry out inspection, Court held, “the principles of natural justice may be diluted”.

Justice Kshitij Shailendra observed that –

“Whether the exercise of a power conferred should or should not be made in accordance with any of the principles of natural justice depends upon the express words of the provision conferring the power, the nature of the power conferred, the purpose for which it is conferred and the effect of the exercise of that power.”

Background –

A Special Investigation Team was constituted to examine various complaints against Madrasas. The report of the SIT was placed before a committee headed by the Chief Secretary of the State. Proceedings of said meeting disclosed various actions proposed to be taken against various Madrasas including the petitioner-Madrasa, including lodging of F.I.R. against Madrasa office bearers under Sections 409, 420, 467, 468 and 471 I.P.C.

In court, the government lawyer informed that investigations were conducted in approximately 313 madrasas, and preliminary findings revealed instances of improper activities and irregularities. The Uttar Pradesh government announced its intention to take measures to shut down madrasas found to be acting against the interests of the country. Additional actions will be taken following the findings of the Special Investigation Team’s report, and the government has chosen to proceed with the planned measures based on the report submitted by the team.

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