The Delhi High Court directed the city government on Friday to ensure admission to children belonging to weaker sections of the society in private unaided schools, observing that it is high time that the judiciary reaches out to people instead of waiting for them to reach out to it.
It said these kids are being forced to knock on the doors of the court for availing their fundamental right to education.
The court said all the private unaided schools concerned shall ensure that no student belonging to the ”weaker sections” as defined in the Right To Education (RTE) Act and recommended by the Directorate of Education (DoE) for being admitted in an academic session shall be denied admission or treated with conduct that is unwelcoming of them on any pretext whatsoever, including that of suspicion of credentials.
The counsel representing the children belonging to the economically weaker section (EWS) who were denied admissions by several schools submitted that to add insult to injury, the school gates were literally shut on the faces of the shortlisted students and their parents.
”One can just imagine the humiliation faced by the young children and their parents. This court, as a custodian of the Constitution, cannot remain a mute spectator to the outright bulldozing of human rights by those in the noble service of imparting education, thus bringing a bad name and repute to the same,” Justice Chandra Dhari Singh said in an 85-page judgment.
The court noted that this batch of petitions showed that the provisions of the RTE Act as well as the directives or circulars issued by the DoE are being violated and brutally lynched in broad daylight.
This is the status, where circulars in form of letters are exchanged between the State and the schools, while the poor children along with their parents, despite having followed the due procedure, are forced to move from pillar to post and are being humiliated at every step with the ”only hope that on some fortunate day, Lady Luck will shower her blessings and these children will get admission in a school”, it said.
The court further said: ”These children have committed no other crime but that they were born in poverty. This court’s conscience is laden with the woes of the poor children and their parents. The state of affairs is appalling, anguishing and agonising. It is a travesty of justice and an utter failure on the part of the State in its duties of a welfare state.” The judge said it is high time that the judiciary reaches the people and not wait for the people to reach out to it, as the poor kids are being forced in the instant set of petitions to knock on the doors of the court for availing their fundamental right to education.
”In view of the aforesaid analysis as well as to alleviate and ameliorate the miserable state of affairs as prevalent in the NCT of Delhi qua implementation of the RTE Act at elementary education level, it is pertinent to exercise the powers of this court under Article 226 of the Constitution to issue directions to the DoE for ensuring admission to the poor children belonging to weaker sections,” it said.
The petitions were filed seeking admission of students belonging to the EWS category under section 2(e) of the RTE Act in various private unaided schools at the elementary level.
These students from the EWS category have been given letters by the Delhi government’s DoE, confirming their admission to the respective schools in the national capital under the scheme of the RTE Act.
These letters were issued pursuant to a draw of lots conducted by the DoE and the results were communicated to all the schools as well as the fortunate few children belonging to the EWS category who got selected by such a draw of lots. Despite the children possessing confirmed admission letters from the DoE, the schools refused to admit them.
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