Judgment day for validity of RTE Act

Judgment day for validity of RTE Act

Apex court to pass orders today

The Supreme Court is to pronounce on Thursday its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act which made it mandatory for private schools to reserve of 25 per cent seats for children of economically backward sections.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia had reserved the judgment in the matter on August 3 last year after holding hearings lasting for several months on the petitions filed by different private unaided institutions and others.

Violation of rights

Their petitions claimed that the Act violated the rights of private educational institutions given under the Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, which provided maximum autonomy to private managements to run their institutions without governmental interference.

The Centre, on the other hand, had maintained that the law also known as Right to Education (RTE) Act ensuring right to education as a fundamental right for the children in the age group of 6-14 years would help in establishing composite classrooms as the schools would have to reserve 25 per cent seats for students from poor families.

The hearing on the petitions  started oin February 17 last year2011 by the bench also comprising Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swantanter Kumar, which had kept on asking the private schools to explain as to how the Act put “unreasonable restrictions” on their fundamental right to run their institutions. Various associations of private schools, including the main petitioner Society for Un-aided Private Schools Rajasthan, had called the Act “unconstitutional and violative of their fundamental rights”.

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