For grant, unaided schools in Maharashtra must conform to quota policy, says Bombay HC
Mumbai city news: Schools said it is mandatory for the state to reimburse unaided schools for working as its agents to provide free and compulsory education to allmumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2017 23:59 IST
Unaided schools in Maharashtra will not get state government grant-in-aid until they conform to the reservation policy, the Bombay high court held.
The division bench of Justices Bhushan Gavai and Riyaz Chagla said the compliance of reservation policy is a condition for unaided schools to be entitled to get funds from the state. In November 2011, the state government decided to start providing grant-in-aid to permanent unaided primary and secondary schools across Maharashtra. The extension of the benefit of government aid was of course conditional and one of the conditions was that non-minority schools should have complied with the government’s policy of reservation in employment of teachers and non-teaching staff members.
A bunch of schools had approached high court challenging the condition contending that it was arbitrary, irrational and illegal. Their counsel Suresh Pakale argued that if SC orders are to be followed, reservation policy cannot be imposed on unaided schools.
Pakale added that after right to education was brought in the Constitution it is mandatory for the state to reimburse unaided schools which are discharging the duties of the state as its agents to provide free and compulsory education to all. “State cannot run away from its responsibility merely on the ground that the reservation policy is not complied with by the schools,” Pakale said.
The HC, however, found no substance in the contentions and granted liberty to individual schools to approach concerned authorities with their plea for grant-in-aid after Pakale pointed out that many of the unaided schools have substantially complied with the reservation policy. The bench further directed the authorities to consider their applications if they find that the school has substantially complied with the policy.