June 06, 2019
Case name: Education Rights Trust & ors. v. Government of Karnataka & anr.
In the case, a batch of petitions had been instituted to declare amendment of Rule 4 of Karnataka Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Rules, 2012 on the ground that it violates fundamental rights of children guaranteed under Article 21A of the Constitution of India. The impugned provision states that no unaided school shall be identified for admission of weaker section, where government schools are available in the neighbourhood. The petitioners have contended that notwithstanding the existence of Government schools in the neighbourhood, unaided schools must also be identified to ensure that parent and the child get admission in schools of their choice.
The High Court of Karnataka however has observed that if the schools run by the Government or aided by the Government are available in the neighbourhood, parents of children entitled for admission to the schools under the RTE Act shall be entitled to seek admission in the said schools.
While making the aforesaid observations the Court gave the following reasoning:
That if petitioner’s contention is to be accepted, the State Government will be compelled to reimburse astronomical figures. The Petitioners’ argument that children entitled for seat under the RTE Act may choose an unaided school in the neighbourhood though there exist Government and aided schools, is fallacious.
That the impugned provision is nor unconstitutional nor in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution. That though Article 21-A though provides for compulsory education for elementary education but in view of Part IV under Article 45 read with Section 11, which provide education even to the pre-elementary school.
That when these schools have been established, then the Government need not reimburse the cost or expenditure on the elementary education of a child.
It was also opined by the Court that if at all, if the parents want to admit their children to private schools, it is out of their decisions for which the Government is not liable or accountable.
The Court finally noted that Education under Article 21A of the Constitution is a fundamental right but the petitioners or such students have no right of admission to private schools only, as long as the government schools, local authorities’ schools or aided schools are available in the neighbourhood.