Delhi High Court: In a case where the mother (‘applicant’) who is in judicial custody for an alleged grave offence seeks interim bail to get her child admitted in a school, Swarana Kanta Sharma, J. took suo motu cognizance and directed Delhi police to ensure admission of the child recognizing right to education as a fundamental right of the child. The bail application was thus directed to be withdrawn and a compliance report was sought regarding admission.
The present application was filed by the petitioner seeking interim bail for two weeks in FIR registered under sections 302/365/292/397/411/120-B/201 & 34 Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) for alleged involvement in the murder of an old lady whose body parts were severed and disposed of in a drain. The petitioner and her husband, who is the co-accused in the aforementioned FIR, have been in judicial custody since 11-07-2021. The application was preferred by the mother of the child on the grounds that she is concerned about the admission to a school of her child, who is about 8 years of age. It is stated that without her presence, she cannot be admitted to any school.
It was brought to the attention of the court that the presence of the applicant/mother is not required for admission of the child in the school and the Aadhaar Card of the mother shall suffice. Investigating Officer (IO) also verified the same stating that the child’s admission can be done without the Aadhaar Card if the child has a certificate bearing the child’s date of birth from any government institution. It is further stated that any local guardian of the child can also get him/her admitted in school.
The Court noted 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 fundamental right is enforced and there is no impediment for any individual to enjoy the same. 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. Thus, the child must get admitted in a school at the earliest so that the shadow of nothing unpleasant happening falls upon the child’s life to darken her future.
The Court further noted that in the present unpleasant situation of the case, the court has to become the voice of the voiceless child. The parents are in judicial custody and the prime concern of the parents is the education of the child. Thus, 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 2022-23.
The Court 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 of the child is already enrolled and pursuing her education and asked the principal of the school to extend full cooperation for the admission of the child. The compliance report is directed to be filed within 10 days.
[Kamini Arya v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2367, decided on 03-08-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Ms. Anu Narula, Advocate, for the Petitioner;
Mr. Manoj Pant, APP for the State with Inspector Devendra Singh, P.S. Mohan Garden, Advocates, for the State.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.