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HC declares admission of 169 children at Viqarunnisa illegal

Order to probe corruption allegations

Published : Wednesday, 22 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 151

The High Court on Tuesday declared illegal the admission of 169 overage children in class I of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College in Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

It also asked the school authority to fill up the vacant seats of 169 children from waiting list in 15 days in line with the admission rules.

The HC bench comprising Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil delivered the verdict after disposing of two writ petitions - one filed by the parents of dropped students and another one by some parents of 137 children who are in the waiting list.

The HC bench also ordered an investigation into allegations of corruption and irregularities in the admission of these students.

It asked to constitute a three- member committee, headed by an additional secretary of ministry of the secondary and higher education division to find out the perpetrators that were involved in admitting overage children in class I of the school.
It its order, the HC bench observed that parents of the 169 students in question could not avoid responsibility for the situation created regarding the admission.

On 14 January, the mothers of two students who were admitted to Class I at Viqarunnisa filed a writ petition alleging that the age rule was not followed in the admission. After a preliminary hearing, the HC issued a rule with an order on January 23.

Education Ministry lawyer Rafiul Islam told the High Court that the children, who were born before January 1, 2017 were disqualified to get admission in class I, according to the admission rule.

Of the 169 children, 10 were born in 2015 while 159 others were born in 2016, Rafiul said.

The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education asked the institutions principal on February 27 to inform the directorate after cancelling the admission of the children.  

And the school later cancelled admission of the 169 children and the directorate submitted the list of the children to the High Court on March 6, complying with its directive issued on January 23.

On March 6, some guardians of the 169 students appealed to the Appellate Division seeking stay on the High Courts directive.

On March 20, the Appellate Division had earlier asked the principal of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College to maintain status-quo over the admission to the seats of 169 children who were disqualified for admission in Class I due to the age limit.

A five-judge bench chaired by Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan also asked the High Court to dispose of in two months the ruling it issued on January 23 asking the government and the principal to explain in four weeks why the admission of the 169 over-age children, who were selected through the lottery, should not be declared illegal. After hearing on the rules, the HC bench on Tuesday came up with the orders.

Lawyer Mustafizur Rahman Khan appeared for the dropped students while lawyer Shamim Sarder represented the waiting students.

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