Rs 15,000 limit for edu benefits too low: Court | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Rs 15,000 limit for edu benefits too low: Court

The Bombay high court on Friday asked the state government to file a reply in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking an over six-fold increase in the upper limit of a family's annual income for its children to become eligible for free education in government, private and unaided institutions. The current limit is Rs 15,000 per annum.

mumbai Updated: Nov 19, 2011 01:25 IST
Mohamed Thaver

The Bombay high court on Friday asked the state government to file a reply in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking an over six-fold increase in the upper limit of a family's annual income for its children to become eligible for free education in government, private and unaided institutions. The current limit is Rs 15,000 per annum.

According to the petitioner, Forum against Commercialisation of Education, an NGO, raising the limit to Rs1 lakh will allow many children from economically weaker sections to get admission in educational institutions.

A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Roshan Dalvi observed that even a peon's annual income is more than Rs 1 lakh.

The bench then directed the state to file a reply and allowed the petitioners to amend their petition to increase the amount further to determine the economic status for the freeship.

The petition states that the state government has decided that only families with annual income of Rs15,000 or lower can avail of freeships in government, private aided and unaided schools and colleges. The petitioners contended that this is unfair and arbitrary in today's world.

According to the petitioner's advocate Madhav Jamdhar, the government's resolution of 1993 prescribes an annual income of Rs15, 000 for all institutions. However, in 2007, it was increased to Rs1 lakh for professional unaided colleges. In 2010, it was increased to Rs1 lakh for aided professional colleges.

But school students and those studying in regular colleges haven't got the benefits, Jamdhar said.

The petition points out that if a family is earning Rs15,000 per year, it would come to Rs 1,250 per month, and Rs41.66 per day. This is even less than the minimum wages assured under the Minimum Wages Act, the petition states. Thus, the government is depriving many poor students of the benefit, it adds. The petitioner has urged the court to direct the state to increase the amount criteria and set aside the government resolution.

The case has been adjourned till December 12.