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Gauhati HC Seeks Govt's Response On Plea For Effective Implementation of Right To Education Act

Akshita Saxena
20 Nov 2020 8:13 AM GMT
Gauhati HC Seeks Govts Response On Plea For Effective Implementation of Right To Education Act
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The Gauhati High Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Assam government in a plea seeking effective implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act, 2009 which reserves at least 25% elementary level school seats for children belonging to weaker sections. A Division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Manish Choudhury has asked...

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The Gauhati High Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Assam government in a plea seeking effective implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act, 2009 which reserves at least 25% elementary level school seats for children belonging to weaker sections.

A Division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Manish Choudhury has asked the Government to file an affidavit, explaining the modality of implementation of the RTE Act.

"We understand that this is essentially the responsibility of the State authorities to ensure proper compliance of the provision of the Act by the schools concerned.

Accordingly, the State Government will inform this Court as to how they are proceeding to implement the provisions of this Act effectively so that the constitutionally mandated provision for providing free education as translated in the aforesaid parliamentary enactment is properly implemented," the order states.

The direction was made in a PIL filed by a second-year law student, Debargha Roy, seeking for an appropriate direction to the State to ensure proper compliance with Section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act.

He had submitted that though the State has issued the notification on 04.03.2013 for implementation of the provisions of the Act, there is no effective implementation of the same.

"The non-implementation of the mandatory reservation provided under Section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act is a continuing violation of the fundamental right to free and compulsory education under Article 21A available to the large section of children belonging to weaker and disadvantaged sections in Kamrup (Metro) district apart from violating the Statutory mandate under the RTE Act and the Rules framed thereunder," the plea said.

The Petitioner informed the Court that his endeavour to obtain necessary information about the implementation of the Act thought RTIs was unsatisfactory inasmuch as no information on class-wise break up of students was provided to ascertain whether schools are adhering to requirement of providing 25% admission to the weaker sections/ disadvantaged group of the society.

He further informed that contrary to the requirement of Section 34 of the RTE Act, which provides modalities of constitution and functioning of the State Advisory Council, no updated minutes, proceedings or resolutions of the Council are available in the public domain for the past six years.

He also submitted that in 2014, the State Level Monitoring Committee had resolved to collect detailed particulars of admission under Academic Year 2013-14 against 25% reservation children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups from all private schools. The stated purpose for this was to calculate the expenditure per child for reimbursement to such schools which are covered within the ambit of Section 12(2) of the RTE Act. However, no further action has been taken in this regard (to the best of the petitioner's knowledge).

In view of these submissions, the Division Bench asked the State authorities to inform the Court as to the proposed course of action adopted or which will be adopted for effective compliance of the provisions of Section 12 of the Act by way of affidavit.

The matter is listed for hearing on January 5, 2021.

Case Title: Debargha Roy v. State of Assam & Ors.

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