Apex court notice to Centre, states on HIV schoolkids

Apex court notice to Centre, states on HIV schoolkids

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre and all state governments on a PIL seeking declaration of children affected with HIV as “disadvantaged” group under the Right to Education Act.

The PIL filed by Naz Foundation also urged the court to ensure elimination of discrimination against such children.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and J Chelameshwar sought response from the Central government, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and all the state governments on the petition which claimed that the children faced multiple form of discrimination in schools based on their own HIV status or that of their parents or guardians.

The petitioner relied on publicly available reports to show that children have been systematically targeted because of their association with HIV and have faced repeated incidents of humiliation, suspension, violence, segregation, unfair treatment and expulsion.

It also referred to a March 2011 statement by Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad in Parliament stating that 61 HIV positive children were removed from school between 2008 and 2010.

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