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Freeship for single girl stayed

The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a stay on a CBSE circular that made it mandatory for all its affiliated schools to provide free education from Class VI onwards to every girl who was a single child.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 02:52 IST

The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a stay on a CBSE circular that made it mandatory for all its affiliated schools to provide free education from Class VI onwards to every girl who was a single child.

The circular, issued last October, had followed an HRD Ministry directive which said all schools should give a total fee waiver to the single girl child. Several principals had raised objections to the circular.

The stay was granted by a single-judge bench of Justice Vikramjit Sen on a petition filed by Carmel Convent School, Malcha Marg, Delhi. The petition challenged the circular as being mala fide, illegal and unconstitutional. The school’s counsel said the circular violated Article 30 of the Constitution, which provides for minority educational institutions to fix their fee structure.

The petition said the implementation of the order would mean an annual additional expenditure of Rs 20 lakh. Also, it said the school would be compelled to raise the fees of other students to make up for the cost.

The petition said the school was not receiving any aid from the government, so it would be difficult to provide freeship.

Justice Sen issued notices to the Centre, CBSE and director of education, Delhi, to file their replies within four weeks. The next hearing will be on March 27.

Several principals have welcomed the stay. Sister Taurina Vaz of Mater Dei said: “We are a missionary school and operate on a no-profit basis. It would have been impossible to sustain the costs.”

First Published: Jan 21, 2006 02:52 IST