Maharashtra | HC asks state to clear stand on RTE

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court asked the state to declare its stand on its April 30 government resolution that asked private unaided schools to reserve 25 per cent seats in Class I as the entry-level point under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

The court on Monday gave two weeks to the state to file its reply. Admissions under RTE quota were earlier made in pre-primary sections. Several schools had claimed the government resolution had led to confusion.
The court had earlier observed that students from economically weaker sections (EWS) of society, who were admitted to pre-primary classes in private schools under RTE quota, should be protected. Status quo had been ordered on the admission process after it was challenged in court. Justices Anoop Mohta and V L Achliya were hearing a petition filed by Dr Vikhe Patil Foundation, clubbed with other petitions that challenged action by the government for not complying with the April 30 government resolution.

The state government had earlier told the HC that it would collate data on how it could accommodate more students from the EWS category in pre-primary sections. Appearing for the government, Nitin Deshpande told the court the latest stand of the government was awaited.

“Taking into account the controversy, and the urgency of the matter, we are granting two week’s time to the state government to file its reply after seeking a clarification on this matter,” said the HC. Deshpande said that government officials were visiting schools to ensure how students could be accommodated, but some schools were not cooperating, stating the matter was sub judice. The court observed that information sought cannot be denied on this ground.

“There is no question of management or schools not cooperating wherever the government is seeking data and not providing data sought by the department, merely as the matter is pending in court,” said the HC. Deshpande informed the court, “We have surveyed around 9,400 schools and over 5,300 more EWS students are expected to be accommodated under RTE quota.”

Source: The Indian Express

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