SC notice to Karnataka on school admission rule change

August 20 2019

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to look into the legality of the Karnataka government rule, which exempted unaided and private schools from admitting to class one 25 per cent students from the socially and economically disadvantaged groups.

The applicability of the rule was based on the condition that government and aided schools should be in the vicinity.

An apex court Bench, headed by Justice N.V. Ramana, issued a notice to the Karnataka government on a petition, challenging the validity of the 2019 amendment to the Right to Education Act. 

The Karnataka High Court on May 31, upheld constitutional validity of the amendment to the Rule 4 of the Karnataka Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2012. 

While issuing a notice, the apex court declined to stay the order.

Advocate Meenakshi Arora along with other counsels represented the petitioner. The petition said the effect of the amendment was "where a government or aided school existed in a particular neighbourhood, private, un-aided schools would be exempted from their obligation, under Section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act, to admit, in class I, to the extent of at least 25 per cent of the strength of the class, children from weaker sections and disadvantaged groups".

Therefore, the obligation upon private and un-aided schools would exist only where there was no government or aided school in the neighbourhood. 

The petitioner, RTE Students & Parents Association, submitted that the Karnataka High Court grievously erred in its interpretation of the RTE Act.

It said the high court ignored the clear language of the RTE Act, which states "private and unaided schools shall admit the required number each year, with the obligation being absolute and not subject to any future proposed expansion of government schools."

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  • IANS