The Allahabad High Court has restrained the Uttar Pradesh education authorities from taking action against book shops for keeping textbooks which may be used as reference volumes for courses conducted by the UP Board, even if they are not the course books or texts prescribed by the board and approved by NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training).
The court clarified that this direction shall not prevent any action against a person for violating copyright or on account of commission of any offence.
Justice Manoj Misra and Justice Umesh Chandra Sharma issued notices to UP Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad and other education authorities while hearing a writ petition filed by M/S Rajeev Prakashan and company.
The high court asked the education authorities to explain their legal authority for issuing a direction dated July 29, which was passed by the district inspector of schools (DIOS), Mirzapur.
The DIOS had directed that the book shopkeepers of the state cannot sell the reference textbooks of private publishers and will sell only the books authorised by the Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad.
Fixing November 21 as the next date of hearing, the court observed, “Further, on our prima facie assessment, there could be no blanket prohibition in publication of textbooks of authors which may be useful to students as reference books, though they cannot be touted as course books or books prescribed/approved by the Board for the courses conducted by it.”