Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 13
A decade after the Right to Education (RTE) Act came into force, the Independent Schools’ Association, Chandigarh, and a society today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court for directions to the Administration to allow unaided private schools to charge fee from students belonging to the EWS category. As an alternative, directions were sought for reimbursing the cost of students admitted to unaided private schools.
Taking up the petition filed by the association and New Public School Society, Justice Sudhir Mittal of the High Court put the Administration on notice before fixing March 20 as the next date of hearing in the matter.
The directions were also sought for reimbursement of expenditure incurred in relation to all students belonging to EWS category/disadvantaged group admitted not only under the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, but also under the land allotment scheme (Allotment of Land to Educational Institutions (Schools), etc, on Leasehold Basis in Chandigarh Scheme, 1996).
Counsel Aashish Chopra said Principal Secretary, Education Department, and three other respondents were also required to be directed to lay down proper guidelines/procedure for implementation of the admission process, more particularly for reimbursement of expenses incurred in providing admissions in a time-bound and transparent manner.
Appearing before Justice Mittal’s Bench, counsel Chopra submitted that EWS students were required to be admitted on account of alleged obligation under the land allotment scheme. Chopra also told the court that reservation under the 1996 scheme could not be applicable to the schools that were not allotted land under it. The 15 per cent reservation for EWS category was being provided voluntarily by the schools and not as part of any alleged obligation under the scheme. The Administration was under an obligation to provide reimbursement to schools even towards the expenditure incurred in providing education to the EWS students being admitted under the 15 per cent reservation. He also submitted that the minority educational institutions were in any case exempted from providing any reservation.
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