The Delhi High Court has taken suo motu cognizance to facilitate admission of an 8 year old child to school which could not be facilitated for the reason that her parents were in judicial custody in a murder case since July 2021.
Observing that the Court has to become the "voice of the voiceless", Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma added thus:
"This court is of the opinion that the child must get admitted in a school at the earliest so that shadow of no unpleasant happening falls upon the child's life to darken her future."
The Court noted that the child, being an individual Indian citizen, enjoyed the Fundamental Rights including the right to Education and that the welfare of child should not only be considered in cases dealing with family disputes but also like the present one.
"….the courts can become and act as the parent of the child and ensure that the child is not deprived of its Fundamental Right to Education. Depriving any child of education due to family circumstances should not be allowed to every extent possible. An educated child educates the entire family and becomes an asset to the nation," the Court said.
It added, "Right to Education is a fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen under Article 21-A of the Constitution. A child must not suffer the consequences, on account of their parents having been in judicial custody for a crime which is yet to be adjudicated upon by the court. This court is duty bound to enforce fundamental rights of every citizen and in this case right to education of the child."
"In the circumstances, at this stage, this court feels the need to exercise its discretionary powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and take suo-motu cognizance to facilitate the child's admission in a school so that the child does not lose out on the current academic year i.e. 2022-23."
The Court said that once it comes to the notice of the court that a child or an individual is deprived of a fundamental right, the courts have to ensure that the said fundamental right is enforced, without any impediment.
The Court was dealing with a plea filed by the child's mother seeking interim bail for two weeks in a murder case in which the husband was co accused. She was in judicial custody due to her alleged involvement in the murder of an old lady whose body parts were severed and disposed of in a drain.
The application was moved on the ground that the mother was concerned about the admission in a school of her minor child, stating that without her presence, the admission cannot be effected in any school.
The interim bail application of the petitioner was dismissed by Trial Court on May 21, 2022 wherein it was observed that the ground of getting her daughters admitted to school was not of such a nature which can be termed as a compelling circumstance or intolerable grief.
"In my opinion, education is the first step towards tackling social evils, especially poverty, inequality and discrimination. Every child, irrespective of caste, religion, sex, or economic background has been guaranteed right to education. An educated individual can make informed decisions, first for themselves, and then be able to contribute constructively towards the progress of the nation and society at large," the High Court observed.
The Court thus directed the SHO concerned to get the child admitted to the school adjacent to the senior branch of the school in which the older sibling was already enrolled.
"The Principal of the school will extend full cooperation for the admission of the child. A compliance report will be filed within 10 days. The identity of the child and the school in question is not being mentioned in this order to protect the privacy and dignity of the child," the Court added.
In view of the said order and on being satisfied with the same, the petitioner withdrew her application.
Case Title: KAMINI ARYA THROUGH PEROKAR v. THE STATE NCT OF DELHI
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 758