Plans by the government to take over Parklands Arya Girls High School and convert it into a girls’ boarding school has suffered a blow after the appellate court dismissed an appeal filed by the National Land Commission (NLC).
A bench of three judges faulted the NLC’s move, saying that a similar suit filed by the Ministry of Education had been dismissed.
Unless the previous judgment is reviewed or varied, the government and by extension NLC is bound by the decision, said the judges.
“The ministry as a party to the former suit ought to have brought in full its case for determination. It cannot purport to go through another government agency or department or commission to circumvent the doctrine of res judicata and in the process continue vexing the first respondent (registered trustees of Arya Pratinidhi Shaba, Eastern Africa),” Justices Philip Waki, Asike Makhandia and Otieno Odek said.
The NLC moved to court arguing that the land on which the school stands was public while the Arya trustees, which acquired the land in 1956, maintained that it was private.
The trustees argued that they were granted the land decades ago under special conditions that it be used for construction of a school and one dwelling house for the accommodation of teachers.
The construction of the school was completed in 1957 and the trustees named it Arya Samaj Girls School before changing to the current name. In 2008 the Ministry of Education accused the trustees of interference with the management of the school and also its proprietary rights.