DELAY IN PROVIDING BOOKS TO OVER 18 LAKHS STUDENTS OF DELHI GOVT & MCD SCHOOLS - HIGH COURT SEEKS DELHI GOVT EXPAINATION
Delhi High Court (Acting Chief Justice A.K.Sikri & Rajev Sahai Enlaw J) today expressed its anguish for failure on the Government of Delhi to print and to distribute free books to over 18 lacs students (10 lacs of MCD schools and 8 lacs of Delhi Govt schools) studying in MCD and Delhi Govt schools even after 13 days of the commencement of the current academic session.
“Why have you not made books available to the students on the 1st of the current session? You are saying books would be made available in July. How students would do their home work in the summer vacations without the books? Why have you not started the process of tendering and printing books well in advance?” These and several other uncomfortable questions were asked by the Hon’ble Acting Chief Justice from Shri Amit Singla, Director of Education, who was personally present in the Court to put forth the reasons for non-availability of the Books meant to be distributed to the lacs of students belonging to the weaker sections. Not satisfied with the answers given on behalf of the Government, the Hon’ble Judges directed the Director of Education to explain on affidavit by 25 April 2012 as to why the books were not made available to the students in time.
On the last date of hearing, when Advocate Ashok Agarwal brought to the notice of the Hon'ble Judges that students studying in MCD schools are without books as the books are yet to be printed, the Hon'ble Judges said, "what a shocking state of affairs". The Court had directed the Government of Delhi to inform the Court by today as to by what date the books would be made available to the students.
High Court today also pulled up MCD when Advocate Ashok Agarwal informed the Court that 10 lakhs students of the MCD primary schools have also not been given full set of copies which fact was confirmed by the counsel appearing for the MCD. MCD counsel assured the Court that copies would be given to the students at the earliest.
“All study material including bag, books, copies and pencils etc. must have been given to the students on the day their annual results are declared in the month of March and promoted to the next classes so that they should have all study material with them on the commencement of the session itself. Failing to do so, is no less a criminal negligence on the part of the authorities and it also makes a mockery of the right to education. Study material is very valuable for the students”, submitted Advocate Ashok Agarwal.
Next date of hearing is 25.04.2012.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate