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Delhi HC notice to Centre over contempt plea

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Central government on contempt petition alleging that the Centre has failed to decide on extending the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 up to Class XII by an amendment to protect Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)/Disadvantaged Group (DG) students despite High Court directions.
Delhi HC notice to Centre over contempt plea

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Central government on contempt petition alleging that the Centre has failed to decide on extending the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 up to Class XII by an amendment to protect Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)/Disadvantaged Group (DG) students despite High Court directions.

A single-judge bench of Justice Najmi Waziri questioned Central Government's counsel why the decision has not been taken to extend RTE Act up to class 12 despite the court's directions a year ago.

The Court asked Secretary, Ministry of Education to file a short affidavit in reply to the Contempt Petition filed by Social Jurist through Advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh complaining that due to inaction on part of the Central Government, private schools countrywide are throwing thousands of EWS students out of school every year after they pass class 8.

"The very objective and purpose of fundamental Right to Education is defeated if an EWS student is not allowed to continue his studies in Private school beyond class 8 and upto class 12", submitted Advocate Ashok Agarwal.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on March 17.

Social Jurist, a Civil Rights Group has knocked doors of the Delhi High Court seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against a senior official of the Department of School Education and Literacy, Union Ministry of Education.

The plea alleged that the respondent official deliberately and intentionally disobeyed the order of this Court passed earlier. The petitioner submitted that a Division Bench of Delhi High Court by order dated December 9, 2019, stated that "We expect from Union of India that the policy decision of extension of free education under the of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 to children of disadvantaged group/ economically weaker section even after attaining the age of 14 years or beyond Class VIII upto Class XII in the same school, would be taken at the earliest".

The plea alleged that a period of more than a year has since elapsed and the respondent has not taken any decision in this matter till date. It submitted that the parents of DG/EWS category students are not in a financial position to pay hefty school fee to Unaided Private Schools in classes IX and onwards.

"If a student has studied from Nursery to class VIII in an English Medium Unaided Private School and is asked to go to Government School in class IX and onwards, great prejudice would be caused to such student for more than one reason," read the petition.

( With inputs from ANI )

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Delhi HC notice to Centre over contempt plea
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