Delhi High Court does not have Territorial Jurisdiction in all CBSE matters

Delhi High Court

Kriti Agrawal – 

The Delhi High Court has refused to hear a student’s appeal against a fee increase at her CBSE affiliated school in Ghaziabad, stating that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) can defend proceedings anywhere in the country as a central body and that the Delhi High Court does not have territorial jurisdiction in all CBSE matters simply because its head office is in Delhi.

Observing that the petitioner’s objections are more about the state of Uttar Pradesh than the CBSE, the Court decided that the jurisdictional High Court in Uttar Pradesh would be a more appropriate place for the petitioner to raise her objections based on the principle of forum non-convenience.

Justice Prateek Jalan states that, “I believe that the mere presence of the CBSE as a respondent in the case does not confer jurisdiction on this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. If the Court determines that it is not the most suited Court for the task, it may refuse to hear the writ petition. The Court would assess, among other things, whether there is a more appropriate forum where a petitioner could successfully agitate her issues.”

On behalf of the petitioner, it was stated that the student had been unable to attend school for several months due to a lack of funds and that the petitioner pleaded for compensation as well as other reliefs.

The petitioner’s father had asked the Court to hear the case, arguing that the Delhi High Court was the proper forum to hear the case because the remedy was sought against CBSE, which is situated in Delhi. He further claimed that the Board had the right to provide directives to its connected schools on matters such as tuition rises and other matters.

On behalf of CBSE, Adv. Seema Dolo argued against the Delhi High Court’s geographical jurisdiction, claiming that the Board also has regional offices for schools in each jurisdiction, and so the plea would not be maintainable outside of such regions. 

According to the Court, the petitioner had also filed another plea at the Allahabad High Court on the same subject.

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