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The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has directed the Union territory authorities to maintain status quo on an order asking private schools established on state land to cease operations.

Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi passed the order on Wednesday.

The court directed the state respondents to maintain the status quo till the next hearing, which is scheduled on July 18. The Jammu and Kashmir Private Schools Association had approached the high court against an order passed by the education department asking private schools to get a certificate of the nature of their land from revenue officials concerned.

The chief education officer of Budgam had even asked the schools established on state land to close down and facilitate enrolling of their students in nearest government schools.

The high court, while issuing a notice to the Union territory administration, gave three week’s time for filing objections to the petition.

The move to close private schools operating on state land comes on the heels of the government banning nearly a dozen schools operated by the Falah -e-Aam Trust. Hundreds of small private schools have been established on state land across Jammu and Kashmir. Some of the major missionary schools are also operating on state land leased to them.

It was not clear whether the order to close down the private schools on state land applied to these big schools as well.

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