Details of RTE Burden on the Centre Sought

NGO petitions court after Centre, State governments contest funding mechanism

Published: 27th November 2015 06:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th November 2015 06:11 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Madras High Court has directed the Union government to furnish within four weeks details of the nature and percentage of the expenses to be borne by it in the matter of admission of economically poor students in schools under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

The first bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana gave the direction, while passing further interim orders on a PIL from A Narayanan of ChangeIndia in Virugambakkam, on Thursday.

The bench noted that both the State and Central governments are playing a blaming game and passing the buck. It is the stand of the State government that all the funds have to be re-imbursed by the Centre, but the counsel for the Union government submits to the contrary by relying on Sec. 7 of the Act, which provided for concurrent responsibility on the State for funds.

“We put a question to the Centre as to what aspects should be compensated by it and what is the extent of the re-imbursement. This aspect has also to be examined in terms of paragraph-6 of the earlier order of the bench on July 6 this year.

The only aspect the Central government counsel was able to clarify was that in view of Sec 3(i) of the Act, re-imbursement by the Centre is only for age 6 to 14 and LKG and UKG admission expenses would have to be borne by the State government. The State claimed that not even a penny has been reimbursed as yet by the centre and the entire amounts have been borne by it.

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