The Madhya Pradesh High Court has revoked the suspension of the principal of a school where notebooks were distributed by an NGO with photographs of a freedom fighter Veer Savarkar on them. The court has also reinstituted him on his position.
"At the outset, learned counsel for the respondent-State has argued before this Court that the order is an appealable order. It is true that the order is an appealable order, but the fact remains that the petitioner has been suspended only because Notebooks containing photographs of a freedom fighter was distributed in the School by an NGO," observed High Court in its order.
"Prima facie, the order appears to be bad in law. If notebooks containing photographs of a freedom fighter have been distributed it is certainly not misconduct. Resultantly, operation of the impugned order dated 13/1/2020 is stayed," read the High Court order.
"The petitioner shall be allowed to continue as Principal, as this Court has stayed the order of suspension. Respondent State is granted 4 weeks' time to file a reply," it said.
The principal of the Madhya Pradesh school was suspended after notebooks with freedom fighters printed on them were distributed in the school by an NGO. According to reports, books containing photographs of Veer Savarkar were distributed to the students in the school.
The issue over Savarkar heated up earlier in January when Congress party's grass-root organization Seva Dal had distributed booklets during its 10 days workshop in Madhya Pradesh having derogatory remarks on Savarkar which also claimed that Savarkar had a physical relationship with Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. The booklet caused outrage across several Savarkar followers and political parties demanding the withdrawal of the literature.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut who was instrumental in carving an alliance of Shiv Sena with NCP and Congress of the Maha Vikas Aghadi, had slammed the Congress for its derogatory remarks against Savarkar. Raut has time and again stated that those who do not consider Savarkar a hero do not know him well. Over the dispute of conferring Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, Raut took an indirect jibe on Congress and reiterated that those against Savarkar must spend two days in the Andaman Cellular jail where Savarkar was lodged.
Shiv Sena has played neutral over Savarkar after the formation of Maharashtra government with the support of NCP and Congress. Shiv Sena was quick to distance itself from Raut's comment and maintained a soft stand against Congress. Shiv Sena scion and now a Maharashtra cabinet minister, Aaditya Thackeray while reacting on this, urged people to talk about current issues like GDP and unemployment instead of history. "We should learn from history and move forward," he added.
(With ANI inputs)