High Court orders transfer of NTM School premises to Ramakrishna Ashram
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High Court orders transfer of NTM School premises to Ramakrishna Ashram

June 14, 2021

Bengaluru/Mysuru: In yet another victory for city’s Ramakrishna Ashram in respect of construction of Viveka Memorial, the Karnataka High Court has ordered physical possession of the premises of NTM (New Type Model) School on N.S. Road in the heart of the city to Ramakrishna Ashram, for the construction of the Cultural and Youth Centre there.

A Division Bench comprising Justices Aravind Kumar and N.S. Sanjay Gowda, which recently heard a petition filed by Mysuru Ramakrishna Ashram and Ramakrishna Mission seeking  physical possession of the land for construction of  Viveka Memorial at the site, issued the order.

The Court directed the Government to handover physical  possession of the NTM School premises to Ramakrishna Ashram, as promised by it to the Court on Nov.19, 2020. Besides, the school children and teachers of NTM School should be shifted to a nearby school as the Government had handed over the School to Ramakrishna Ashram, through an order issued on Mar. 15, 2013, the Court ruled.

Details: To mark Swami  Vivekananda’s stay at Niranjana Mutt in Mysuru in 1892, the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) had handed over the Mutt premises to Ramakrishna Ashram. Later, the BJP Government in 2013, ordered transfer of the adjacent NTM School premises and BRC Centre building premises on N.S. Road too to Ramakrishna Ashrama for construction of Swami Vivekananda Youth Convention Centre at a cost of Rs. 25 crore. But some organisations, questioning the Government’s order on transfer of the school, filed PILs in the HC, which were dismissed and the petitioners were also penalised.

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In the meantime, based on the oral instructions of then Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, who headed the Congress Government, the then Commissioner of Public Instruction ordered continuance of classes at NTM School. Later, Ramakrishna Ashram once again moved the Court, when the Court invalidated the order of the Commissioner of Public Instruction.

It may be mentioned here that Siddharamaiah had earlier said that he was not personally opposed to the construction of Viveka Memorial at NTM School premises. Noting that the matter was in the Court, he had remarked that he was not opposed to Court’s ruling. He had also clarified that he would extend full support for the construction of Viveka Memorial if the Court rules in favour of it. Meanwhile, the NTM Shaale Ulisi Horata Samiti (Save NTM School action committee), which spearheaded the agitation against the proposed Viveka Memorial in the school premises, said that it would file a review petition in the Supreme Court questioning the HC order. 

Samiti Convenor S.R. Sudarshan said that the HC generally takes cognisance of only the legal aspects in respect of cases such as this one. But legal experts have opined that the SC, other than other aspects, will also consider the priority factor while issuing a ruling in such cases. As such, the Samiti will continue with its legal battle by filing a review petition in the SC, he pointed out.

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