Several private schools have moved the Supreme Court seeking to re-examine its April 2012 verdict upholding the constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act, 2009, and extending it to unaided non-minority schools.
In a petition filed through advocate Govind Goel, schools from Karnataka contended that the three-judge bench headed by the then CJI SH Kapadia had ignored an earlier 11-judge verdict saying that the government cannot intervene in the functioning of private institutions and that there is no difference between minority and non-minority classes.
The petitioners want a constitution bench to settle the dispute. They alleged that the bench headed by Justice Kapadia went on to hear and decide a bunch of petitions from Rajasthan despite having referred the issues to a constitution bench on September 6, 2010.
"These petitions be placed before the Constitution bench for directives on a suitable date," the court had then ordered.
On Monday, a bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan, who was part of the three-judge bench headed by Justice Kapadia that upheld the RTE in April 2012, issued notice to the Centre asking as to why the issue should not be referred to a constitution bench.
Justice Radhakrishnan had, however, dissented, saying the Act could not be enforced against unaided institutions, both minority and non-minority. He had held that Article 21A (fundamental right to education) cast obligation on the State to provide free and compulsory education to children upto the age of 14 years.
Contending the April 2012 judgment on the RTE was liable to be struck down, the petitioners said tthat he verdict was "untenable" as it was passed ignoring an earlier order by the same bench that referred it to a constitution bench.