The Calcutta High Court on Thursday appointed an administrator on the La Martiniere schools' board of governors to oversee its functions till disposal of a petition before it by four deposed members. A division bench comprising justices I P Mukerji and Md Nizamuddin appointed Justice (retired) Tapan Kumar Dutt of the Calcutta High Court as the administrator. The bench directed that the board, appointed on June 21, 2019, will function under the supervision of Justice Dutt.
The division bench said all decisions regarding school administration will be subject to approval of the administrator till disposal of the suit filed by four co-opted governors challenging their removal from the board.
The deposed governing body members and the existing governors had both filed appeals challenging an order of a single bench of the high court.
The single bench of Justice Arindam Sinha had on July 12 directed the board of governors at La Martiniere schools here to refrain from taking any decision on the management of the institutions till a suit over sacking of the nominated board members is disposed.
The court had verbally observed that the principals of La Martiniere for Boys and La Martiniere for Girls will run the show till a verdict is given in the case.
The existing board cannot remove or appoint any person as a governor to the board, Justice Sinha had ruled.
La Martinere schools, one of the oldest and most prestigious English-medium institutions in the city, is run by a board of governors, of whom two are ex-officio members, while the other four are nominated by the ex-officio members for a year.
The two ex-officio governors had terminated the membership of four nominated members on June 19, which the latter termed as illegal.
Counsels for the two ex-officio members claimed that the appointment of the four co-opted members was illegally done in March and this was merely corrected in June.
Former Kolkata Bishop Probal Kanto Dutta was one of the ex-officio governors who had appointed the four in March.
Following Mr Dutta's transfer in the second week of June, Paritosh Canning was appointed as the new bishop by the Church of North India.
Canning, as the new ex-officio member along with the other governor Swarup Bar, removed the four members and decided to replace them with new governors.
The decision was challenged before the high court by the four deposed governors - Anil Mukherji, Gerry Arathoon, Suchitra Guha and Anjali Das.
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