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 Delhi High Court 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