HC seeks MCD response on plea claiming Afghan students deprived of statutory monetary benefits

The Delhi High Court Monday sought response of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on a PIL claiming that Afghanistan refugee students studying in a primary school of the corporation are deprived of statutory monetary benefits on the ground of non-opening of their bank accounts.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula issued notice to the MCD, MCD Primary School at Jangpura Extension here and Indian Overseas Bank at Jangpura on the petition.

The court asked the authorities to file their replies to the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on October 6.

The plea filed by NGO Social Jurist said that the action on the part of respondents in depriving Afghanistan refugee students of statutory benefits is arbitrary, unjust, malafide, discriminatory, unethical, anti-child, and violates fundamental right to education as guaranteed to them under the Constitution of India, Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act and Delhi Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules.

The petition, through advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh, said that in terms of Delhi Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, all the students of schools run by Delhi government and MCD are entitled to free textbooks, writing material and uniform.

It said that in lieu of providing textbooks, writing material and uniform, money is transferred to the account of students by the authorities.

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The plea said out of 178, there are 73 Afghani students studying in the MCD school and all the students of the Jangpura Extension school are receiving statutory monetary benefits through their bank accounts except 46 Afghani students who do not have a bank account due to absence of KYC documents.

It said that a representation was given to the authorities suggesting to provide cash to the students in case there is a problem in opening a bank account or making it operational. However, nothing has been done so far and the money required to be paid to students is lying with the MCD school.

“Issue any appropriate writ, order or direction directing the respondents and more particularly to respondent MCD Primary School, Jangpura Extension to grant statutory benefits to 46 Afghanistan refugee students,” the petition urged.

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