RTE doesn’t mean right to insist on admission in school of choice: HC
Interpreting section 3 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Himachal Pradesh high court has observed that free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school does not mean admission in the school of one’s choice.punjab Updated: Dec 12, 2015 17:36 IST
Interpreting section 3 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Himachal Pradesh high court has observed that free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school does not mean admission in the school of one’s choice.
The petitioner, Shourya Thakur, a resident of Shimla, had filed a writ petition before the HC, submitting that he had approached a school for admitting his child in Class 3, but was denied the admission on the ground that the child did not make a grade and therefore, could not be selected.
The petitioner claimed that the school was hardly at a distance of 75 metres from his residence and as per Right of Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, his child had an unfettered right to be admitted in the school, and the respondents had no discretion whatsoever to deny him admission.
Disposing of the petition, chief justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan said the object sought to be achieved through this provision was to effectuate Article 21-A of the Constitution, thereby ensuring that a school was available in the neighbourhood and free and compulsory education in the neighbourhood school was available to every child of the age group to which the statute applied.
“But then this provision, in no manner gives a right to the child or parents to pick and choose a particular school, which falls under Section 12 of the Act, except to the extent of the provisions contained in this section read with Section 2 (n) of the Act,” the court ruled in its judgment pronounced on December 2.
The bench further observed that the private unaided recognised school management had a fundamental right under the aforesaid Article to maximum autonomy in the day to day administration, including their rights to admit students.
“Schools responsibility for free and compulsory education is governed by Section 12 of the Act, and sub-section 1 (c) thereof provides the extent to which provisions have to be made in favour of the weaker section, disadvantaged group, etc., but right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school does not include the right to insist on any school of choice under the Act,” it ruled.