BENGALURU: In a major development for children studying under the Right to Education Act, the Karnataka High Court on Friday upheld the amendment to the act, which debars parents from admitting their children to private schools if there are government or aided schools in the locality. The court termed the arguments of the petitioners fallacious, in its observations.
A division bench of Justice L Narayanaswamy and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar pronounced the judgement rejecting the PIL filed by Education Rights Trust and others, questioning the amendment adding that should the petitioners prayer be granted, the functioning of government and aided schools would at stake.
Explaining its reasoning, the court said that for government school students, the state did not have to reimburse the costs borne by the school for the education of a child under the RTE quota.
“If at all, if the parents want to admit their children to private unaided schools, it is out of their decision for which government is not liable or accountable.” The court also said that the education under Article 21-A is a fundamental right but the petitioners or such students have no right of admission to only private unaided schools, as long as Government schools or schools started by local authorities or aided schools are present in the neighbourhood, the court reasoned.
While defending the amendment, the Advocate General had contended before the High Court that the amendment was brought to the RTE Act as there was a considerable reduction in admission to the government schools and many schools have recorded zero admission after the Act came into force.
In counter, the petitioners had argued that the amendment was arbitrary and would derail the whole process of the child choosing the school.
Kappatagudda as conservation reserve: HC upholds declaration
Observing that there is no legal infirmity in declaration of Kappatagudda as conservation reserve, the Karnataka High Court dismissed the petition questioning the said declaration. The division bench of Justice L Narayanaswamy and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar dismissed the petition filed by Ramgad Minerals and Mining Limited from Ballari and upheld the notification. The court said that the notification declaring Kappathagudda as conservation reserve mentions that the matter was deliberated by the state board for wildlife and the board has recommended to declare the area to the extent of 17,872.248 hectares in Gadag district as conservation reserve. Therefore, the notification does not suffer from any legal infirmity, it said.