The Delhi high court on Monday asked for the Centre’s response to a PIL saying that schools owned or controlled by the government or local authorities should obtain a recognition certificate under the
The Delhi high court on Monday asked for the Centre’s response to a PIL saying that schools owned or controlled by the government or local authorities should obtain a recognition certificate under the RTE Act, like the private ones.
A bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath after observing that government-run schools were also required to maintain facilities like private schools, asked the ministry of human resources development to file a reply to the petition.
The court also issued notice to the ministry and asked to file counter-affidavit within four weeks.
The court was going through a public interest litigation filed by an NGO, Independent Thought, alleging that the exclusion of the government-run schools under Section 18(1) of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act from obtaining a recognition certificate, violated the Constitution.
The NGO in its petition said, “Exclusion of schools established, owned or controlled by the appropriate government or the local authority under Section 18(1) of the RTE Act, 2009 to obtain a certificate of recognition as required under the RTE Act is violative of Articles 14 and 21A of the Constitution.”
“It defeats the aims and objectives of the RTE Act of providing quality education to all children in India. It is, therefore, prayed that part of Section 18(1) of RTE Act is liable to be struck down as unconstitutional,” it added.
The court was told by advocate Vikram Srivastava, appearing for the NGO, that presently Section 18 of the Act would show that all schools owned or run by the government and/or its agencies have been excluded from the ambit of Sections 18 and 19 of the RTE Act.
He argued, “The norms and standards elaborated under Section 19 and the Schedule to the RTE Act do not apply to such schools. This exclusion of a large number of schools from the ambit of Sections 18 and 19 of RTE Act of 2009 is unconstitutional.”
The Act of April 2010 makes it mandatory for all private schools to seek state government’s recognition. The law insists that all schools must procure a “recognition certificate” from the government, which would be renewable every three years.