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Social Jurist Moves to SC to stop Kendriya Vidyalayas hiking Student fee #RTE

Thursday 27/02/2014: Social Jurist, A civil rights group has today moved Supreme Court against order of Delhi High Court permitting Kendriya Vidyalayas to charge fees under various heads, like tuition fees, vidyalaya vikas nidhi, computer fund, etc., from the students studying in classes 1 to 8.

 

The petitioner through Advocate Ashok Agarwal has raised a constitutional issue as to “whether after 1/4/2010 i.e. date when article 21-A of the Constitution of India and the provisions of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 came in to force, the KVS are disentitled to levy any kind of fees on the students of classes 1 to 8 studying in various kendriya vidyalayas (central schools)?”

 

A Division Bench of in its order of 13/12/2013 in a PIL filed by the petitioner held that the action of the KVS in charging fees under various heads from the students studying in Kendriya Vidyalays in classes 1 to 8 is not in violation of 21-A of the Constitution of India as well as of the provisions of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

 

The High Court held,” In our opinion, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan schools are governed by Section 12 (1) (c) of RTE Act which only mandates that a school specified in sub-clause (iii) of clause (n) of Section 2 must admit twenty five per cent of its strength in class one from children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighborhood and must provide them free and compulsory education. RTE Act does not mandate that no fee shall be charged from remaining seventy five percent of its student.”

 

The petitioner in the SLP has argued, “That in view of Article 21-A of the Constitution of India and in view of Preamble, as well as Section 3, of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, it is impermissible in law for the Respondents to levy any kind of fee on the students studying in Class 1 to Class 8. In other words, the action of charging any kind of fees from the students of Classes 1 to 8 by Kendriya Vidyalayas run by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan, is not only unconstitutional but also illegal and arbitrary.”

 

The SLP is likely to be heard in the next week.

 

Ashok Agarwal, Advocate

M.9811101923

27.02.2014

S Y N O P S I S

 

The Petitioner is preferring the present SLP against the judgment and order dated 13.12.2013 of the Division Bench of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in Writ Petition (C) No. 2993 /2013 dismissing the Public Interest Litigation as Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

By the aforesaid Writ Petition the petitioner has raised the following legal issues of great public importance for determination by this Hon’ble Court:-

(i)       Whether after 01.04.2010 i.e. the date when Article 21-A of the Constitution of India and the provisions of Right of Children  to  Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 came into force, the Respondents are disentitled to levy any kind of fees on the students of Classes 1 to 8 studying in Kendriya Vidyalayas (Central Schools)?

 

(ii)      Whether the impugned action on the part of the Respondents to charge fees, under various heads, from the students of Classes 1 to 8 studying in Kendriya Vidyalayas,  whether run in civil sectors or in defense sector or in public sector, is arbitrary, unconstitutional, illegal, unjust, anti-child, violative of Articles 14, 15, 21, 21A, 38 and 41 of the Constitution of India, contrary to the provisions of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009,  contrary to U.N. Convention on Rights of  the Child (1989) and contrary to the law laid down by the Hon’ble in Society of Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan v. Union of India (2012) 6 SCC 1?

 

(iii)     Whether the Respondent No. 1, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, is obliged to refund the school fees, as charged from the students of Classes 1 to 8 during the academic sessions 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13, to the parents of the students?

 

(iv)     Assuming Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 permits the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to levy fee on students of class 1 to 8 on the basis of KVS being specified category of school in terms of section 2(p) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, then the provision of section 2(p) of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education  Act, 2009 is ultra vires of Articles 14, 21, 21-A and 38 of the Constitution of India.

 

Coming to the present case the Respondent No. 1, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, is running nearly 1000 Kendriya Vidyalayas (Central Schools) all over the country, and few overseas, where nearly 10 Lakhs students are studying in Classes 1 to 12.  It may be noted that nearly 7 to 8 Lakhs students are studying in Classes 1 to 8 (Elementary Classes).

That all the Kendriya Vidyalayas all over the country, including Delhi, have been charging fees under various heads from the students studying in Classes 1 to 8.  The fee is being charged under the head of Vidyalaya Vikas Nidhi, Computer Fund, etc.

 

That in view of Article 21-A of the Constitution of India and in view of Preamble, as well as Section 3, of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, it is impermissible in law for the Respondents to levy any kind of fee on the students studying in Class 1 to Class 8. In other words, the action of charging any kind of fees from the students of Classes 1 to 8 by Kendriya Vidyalayas, as run by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan, is not only unconstitutional but also illegal and arbitrary.

 

Being aggrieved by the impugned illegality on the part of the Respondents in charging fees from the students under various heads, the Petitioner preferred a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India being Writ Petition (Civil) No. 2993/2013 as a Public Interest Litigation (P.I.L.). The said writ petition being Writ Petition (Civil) No.2993/2013 was dismissed by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court by passing the impugned Judgment and Order dated 13.12.2013.

 

Hence, the present Special Leave Petition.

 

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