PIL seeks free meals, books for pvt students

PIL seeks free meals, books for pvt students

A public interest litigation on Monday sought Supreme Court’s directions to the Central as well as state governments on providing mid-day meals, free textbooks, school uniforms and scholarships to the children between 6 and 14 years studying in non-government schools.

The petition filed by Uttar Pradesh Basic Shikshak Sangh submitted that students in the above mentioned age group  studying in non-government schools were also entitled for mid-day meals, free books, uniform and scholarship like their counterparts in the government schools.

“To ensure free and compulsory education, the Central government has started some  schemes like mid-day-meal, free books and uniforms for the government school students, however, children studying in private un-aided but recognised schools are deprived of all the above schemes in violation of Article 14 (equality) and 15 (prohibition of discrimination),” it said.

The PIL filed by advocate Dr Kailash Chand pointed out some “confusion” in the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, with regard to reimbursement by the Central and state governments to schools admitting students to provide free education.

The matter came before a Bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale which adjourned the hearing on the request of counsel Anilendra Pandey in order to allow him to file the apex court’s judgment of April 12 upholding the validity of the Right to Education Act 2009.
The petition drafted by advocates Pandey and Priya Kashyap also challenged a Uttar Pradesh’s government order of July 27, last year which did not state as to how the state will reimburse the expenditure.

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