The High Court on Thursday directed the state government to fix reasonable and rational income limit for admission of students from economically backward families to private schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao and Justice Abdul Nazeer passed the order during the hearing of a PIL filed by K Nagesh and two students hailing from BPL families in Mysore. In the PIL, the petitioners challenged the income limit set by the State government notifying that children from families whose annual income is below Rs 3.5 lakh are eligible for free education under the RTE Act.
“How can the government consider persons earning Rs 28,000 to Rs 29,000 per month as disadvantaged class? It is totally irrational and atrocious... Even the gazetted officer and the software engineers’ children come under this provision. Then the children of daily wage workers will not get the benefit. This Act is made to provide free education to poor children. You (State Government) are only allowing middle and upper middle class [children] to get seats under the 25 per cent quota of the RTE,” the Bench observed.
It further noted that the government notification on RTE did not reach the daily wage workers and ordered to conduct awareness programme so that BPL families are familiarised with Act and they too send their children to school under RTE Act.
The Bench further directed the state government to fix a reasonable income limit and submit a report.
It adjourned the hearing to February 21.