Rajasthan High Court: A Division bench of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Farjand Ali granted interim relief against State’s directions to prohibit admission to pre-school classes under RTE Act.

The instant petition in the nature of PIL was filed challenging the policy of the State insofar as direction has been issued by the State Authorities that admission to pre-school classes in educational Session 2020- 21 shall not be governed by The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Counsel for the petitioners submitted that the State’s directions to prohibit admission to pre-classes under RTE Act is contrary to the statutory scheme of Section 12 of the RTE Act and the State has illegally absolved the private schools from complying with the statutory obligation enjoined under Section 12(1) (c), in relation to pre-educational classes, in ignorance of scheme under Proviso to that provision.

Counsel for the State would submit that the applicability of the provisions to pre-school would essentially depend upon proper reimbursement to be made to the State by the Central Government under the scheme of Section 7 of the Act and, therefore, unless such scheme is properly worked out and implemented, no direction could be sought in the garb of PIL by the petitioners.

The Court observed that proviso to Subsection (1) of Section 12 provides that where a school specified in Clause (n) of Section 2 imparts pre-school education, the provisions of Clauses (a) to (c) shall apply for admission to such pre-school education. Thus, Proviso creates an obligation on the schools specified in Sub-clauses (iii) and (iv) of Clause (n) of Section 2 to admit, to the extent of at least twenty five percent of the class, Children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group.

The Court thus held “the direction of the State shall not come in the way of performance of statutory obligation by the schools specified in Sub-clauses (iii) and (iv) of Clause (n) of Section 2 of the RTE Act and Proviso as referred to above shall oblige them to make admission under the RTE Act. Such admission, however, would be provisional in nature and to be governed by the final order that may be passed by this Court in the writ petitions”

[Smile for All Society v. Elementary Education Rajasthan, 2021 SCC OnLine Raj 1592, decided on 23-10-2021]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

For Petitioner(s): Mr Vikas Jakhar and Mr Abhinav Sharma
For Respondent(s): Mr Chiranji Lal Saini and Mr Akshay Bhardwaj

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