Plaint against Commissioner of Public Instruction

The Karnataka State Minorities Educational Institutions Managements Federation has filed a contempt petition in the High Court, against the Commissioner of Public Instruction.

The petition alleges that the Commissioner violated the High Court order in connection with the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

The petitioners said that the Court, on June 18, 2012, had disposed of a writ petition based on a Supreme Court judgement, stating that RTE is not applicable to unaided minority schools. Despite this, the Commissioner issued a press release on February 5, 2013, directing those schools coming under his department to comply with all provisions of the Act.

“This is a clear case of disobedience of the final order of this court in the light of the judgement of the Supreme Court, in that even the unaided minority schools are required to comply with the provisions of all sections of the Act,” the petitioners said.

The petitioners said that the Supreme Court had specifically stated in Para 65 of the judgement that the Act — in particular Sections 12(1)(c) and 18(3) — infringes upon the fundamental freedom guaranteed to unaided minority schools under Article 30(1). This ruling allowed “the High Court to dispose of the writ petition.”

Noting that the Commissioner had paved the way for the inconvenience and harassment of members of the complainant schools by block education officers (by issuing the press note), the petitioners said his actions were clearly in contempt of the High Court as well as the Supreme Court and he was liable to be punished.

The complainants have sought initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the Commissioner under Section 2(b) of the Act. They also seek punishment to him under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. The matter will come up for hearing on March 25.

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