New Delhi: Owning and running a school is a lucrative business in Delhi and as CNN-IBN Special Investigation finds out, crores of rupees change hands as educational institutions in the Capital are bought and sold. Illegally, of course.
The SIT has a list of more than 40 schools that are up for sale, according to some brokers. And though the sale of schools is not legal, they say it’s worth the risk and are prepared to break the law.
"You can't sell off a school officially, but I am an Education Officer and I have got many such deals done,” says one.
Another broker says that Delhi's St Sophia's school – located in Paschim Vihar - has been sold twice in the past two years, and that the management changed hands just a few years back is a fact confirmed by the Principal herself.
“St Sophia has a four-acre land area, the building is ready and I have all the papers,” says the broker.
“A few members of the management changed three years ago, but it means nothing,” says the Principal.
As these brokers plan to make huge profits from selling off schools, children, parents and teachers are not even aware that almost everything about their the school could change in less than a week.
“It’s a simple transfer of members. If you give me Rs three crore, I will get 3 members to resign,” says a broker who calls himself Yadav.
Schools are run by societies formed under the Societies Registration Act according which the society owns all immovable property including the school land.
Selling the property is not permitted. But sale continues unchecked.
So how do people go about buying schools?
“All payments will be made only in cash. Keep that in mind,” warns another borker Aggarwal.
So why would someone want to buy a school? The brokers offer many reasons like gettng a cut in all the donations received by the school.
One could also raise the fees to increase his/her earnings and after a few years sell it off for a lump sum capital gain.
But what happens to the students was the least of their concerns.