The Uttarakhand High Court told education department officials on Friday to provide infrastructure to government-run schools in six months or face salary deduction in January next year.
A bench of justice Rajeev Sharma and justice Alok Singh warned the state government that the court may think of recommending imposition of article 360 (financial emergency) in the state if there was no money to take care of schools.
In November last year, the high court had directed officials to improve the condition of schools, but education and finance departments said financial reasons hampered implementation of the order.
“The dearth of funds cannot be permitted to come in the way of implementation of the judgment dated 19.11.2016. We in a very subtle manner remind the state government of article 360 (of the Constitution of India),” the bench said.
“We will not elaborate further, since this may have serious political ramifications. It is expected from the state functionaries to reduce their unproductive expenses on luxurious items and to divert the necessary funds for improving the education system at the grass root level.”
The court asked the state government to provide basic infrastructural facilities, such as benches, desks, blackboards, and separate hygienic toilets, to schools in six months.
Failure to implement the order, the bench said, will result in deduction of salaries of the gazetted officers, including principal secretary (education), secretary (education), deputy secretary (education), and all directors in the department, for January 2018.
The court said luxury cars would be purchased only after the chief secretary’s approval.
The government will be required to submit status reports to the court in every three months.