In a gesture of generosity, a serving judge of the Bombay high court on Friday offered to pay “out of his own pocket” for the admission fees of a petitioner’s child who had been denied admission into a private school as the petitioner could not afford to pay the entire amount.
Justice VM Kanade offered to pay Rs10,500 that the school was seeking from the petitioner to enrol her four-year-old son in junior kindergarten (Jr Kg).
Justice Kanade was hearing a plea filed by Rita Kanojia, a 30-year-old woman and a single parent, who works as house help.
In her plea, Kanojia told the court that she lost her husband to cancer in 2014 and she has since then been working as a house help to bring up her three children.
Earlier this year, she had approached the Lokmanya Tilak School in Chembur for admission of her son.
Kanojia said her two daughters study in the same school in Classes 3 and 5 and the school is also close to her place of residence thus, she chose the same school for her son.
However, while the school enrolled her son’s name in the list of prospective students in Jr KG, it asked Kanojia to deposit Rs30,000 for finalising the admission.
Kanojia managed to deposit Rs19,500 and wrote to the school seeking rebate and additional time to arrange for the money considering her economic condition.
The school however, refused to consider her request.
Kanojia then approached the HC arguing the school was obstructing her son’s rights under the Right to Education Act and she be granted relief.
Justice Kanade took a stringent stand on the entire episode and rebuked the school authorities for its apathy.
He observed the school should have considered Kanojia’s plight and taken a humane stand instead of making it an “ego issue” and said that if it helped, he was willing to pay the remaining amount of money to secure the admission.
The school authorities however, changed their stand and told the court that the child would be granted admission and that he can join the school from Monday.