Denial of admission under EWS or Disadvantaged Group category by a school even after allotment by the authorities frustrates and undermines the noble objective of the law on right to education and violates the fundamental rights of children under the Constitution, the Delhi High Court has said.
The court’s observation came on a petition by a minor boy who sought a direction to a private school here to give him admission in the Economically Weaker Section (EWS)/
Disadvantaged Group (DG) category.
The school’s objection before the court was that the petitioner’s residence was not within the 0-1 km radius and so he was not eligible for admission. The Delhi government, however, took a contrary stand and said the child was staying in the school’s vicinity.
Ruling in favour of the petitioner, Justice Mini Pushkarna accepted the scrutiny carried out by the Department of Education (DOE) with respect to the petitioner’s place of residence and said the noble object of providing good education to the economically downtrodden and bringing them into the mainstream of the society cannot be lost sight of.
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“If this Court is to doubt the genuineness of the exercise of scrutiny and investigation carried out by the DOE as regards the residence of children on the basis of such objections as raised by the school, then many children would be deprived of admission under the EWS/DG category. This would defeat the very purpose of the provisions of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act),” said the court in a recent order.
The court stated it would accept the bonafides of the investigation and scrutiny carried out by the DOE unless some very glaring discrepancy is brought to the fore.
“Denial of admission by a school under the EWS/DG category even after allotment of school by DOE, frustrates the noble objective of the RTE Act, 2009. It violates the fundamental rights of children belonging to EWS/DG category, as enshrined under Article 21-A of the Constitution, as also undermining the object of the RTE Act, 2009,” it added.
The court noted that pursuant to its earlier order, the petitioner was given admission in the school as an interim measure in June last year.
It is directed that the petitioner child will continue to study under the EWS/DG category in the school, ordered the court.