Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Shaina, a student of Class VI of Government Girls Senior Secondary School No.II, C-Block, Yamuna Vihar, Delhi-110053 was denied readmission by the school when she approached in early July 2008 after a gap of two years as she was diagnosed with tuberculosis for which she had undergone treatment. She approached the Deputy Director of Education on 24.7.2008, who sent her to the school with the recommendation to consider her case for admission. She again approached the school but the school again denied the admission. It is only after she moved a writ petition under article 226 of the Constitution of India in the Delhi High Court and obtained directions for admission, she was granted admission by the school. The Hon’ble High Court held, “The respondents are bound to grant admission to every child who seeks admission in a Government school”.

Shaina is not the only case where government school has denied readmission to a student after she recovered from her health. Monika, a student of Class VI of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Ramesh Park, Lakshmi Nagar, Delhi was denied readmission by the school when she approached the school in April 2008 after she suffered from kidney infection and remained sick for about two years continuously and for reason thereof, she did not attend the school. Monika was readmitted in the school only after she had lodged a written complaint to Social Jurist and the Social Jurist wrote a letter dated 30.08.2008 to the Director of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi reminding him that the State is failing in its constitutional and statutory duties by not providing education to Monika.

It is submitted that the denial of admission to the school age children by the government schools is a clear violation of the fundamental right to education as guaranteed to these children under article 21 (right to life with dignity) of the Constitution of India. It is well settled law that when fundamental rights of the citizens are violated by the State, the State is liable to pay compensation to such aggrieved citizens. It is unfortunate that the Government of Delhi has not even initiated any departmental action against the erring officials of the education department who are responsible for violation of the fundamental right to education of these students. In fact, the denial of admission or readmission to a child who missed the school for medical reasons is a criminal act and must be dealt with all seriousness and firmness. It is high time that Governments must ensure accountability in the matter of providing quality education to all the children through Government Schools.
-By Ashok Agarwal


Vipin Chandra Pal Govt. S.K.V. Babarpur, Delhi denied admission to Naazmeen and Nasara in class XI saying that that ‘the girls are overage (18+)’. Government Girls Senior Secondary School, K Bock, Jahangirpuri, Delhi and all other government schools in the area denied admission to Mamta, Reena and Pusha in class XI saying that ‘seats are full’. Government Girls Senior Secondary School, K Block, Jahangirpuri, Delhi denied admission to Kiran in class VI saying that ‘transfer certificate is not verified by the Education Officer of District Raibareilly’. Ishani Government Sarvodaya Vidyalaya. G Block, Saket, New Delhi denied admission to Nisha Barwal in class XI saying that the ‘there is no scope for admission in govt. schools for those who had passed CBSE Examination as private candidates’. Government Boys Senor Secondary School, K Block Jahangirpuri, Delhi denied admission to Abhishek Singh in class VII saying ‘students from unrecognized schools are ineligible for admission in Govt. School’. Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Seemapuri, Delhi denied admission to Neeraj in class XI saying that ‘since you are harassing us every day for admission, you will not be given admission’.

The students and their parents left no stone unturned in running from pillar to post in the education department of the government to convince their officials, up to the level of the Director of Education, that they have a right to admission in government school to pursue their education further. However, every one turned a deaf ear towards them. The government that promises education for all with emphasis on the education of the girl child closed all their doors for these unfortunate children of the masses.

Disgusted with the double standard of the government, the students approached me as a last resort to realize their basic human and fundamental rights to education and social justice as guaranteed to them under the Constitution of India. I took no time to make representations to the Director of Education thereby requesting him to look into the matter and ensure admission to the students. When no response was received from the education department, I filed writ petitions in Delhi High Court against the Delhi Govt. seeking admission of the students in government school. It is only after the High Court’s intervention, the government agreed to grant admission to the students.

The other day, I was attending a consultation meeting on ‘schooling for all’. The participants invariably pointing out that the government schools are refusing admission to the students on one pretext or the other. They wanted a solution to such a basic problem being faced by them every day. The consultation concluded without providing any answer to this problem. Being a latecomer, I lost the opportunity to address the meet on this issue. The object and purpose of narrating this success story of the students winning legal battle for admission is to share with public at large that the process of realization of right to education is undoubtedly full of difficulties but not impossible. While saying so, I am conscious of the fact that it is not easy for every student or parent to approach the court of law. They cannot afford to pay any money for the litigation. To make it easy, we need dedicated lawyers who can come forward and take up their cause in the court of law without charging any money on any account.
-By Ashok Agarwal

Monday, October 27, 2008

The invisible 83 million

Ananth Krishnan’s article “The invisible 83 million”, appeared in THE HINDU, 26 October 2008, is a wonderful attempt to pull the society for its failure to become sensitive towards persons with disabilities. The author has nicely presented the story of Gao Yu Li of China who had only child with Cerebral Palsy. Shortly after the child was born, her husband left her. She did not bow down to the circumstances. On the other hand, she put a tuff fight against all the odds. The most important message Gao has given to all of us “Take your kids out to the park, to the shops, wherever you can, and however difficult it might be, because that is the only way people will ever become used to us”.

Ashok Agarwal, Advocate