Monday, January 27, 2014

KVS can charge fees for computer fund, Vidyalay Vikas Nidhi

The High today held that the act of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVS) all over the country charging fees under various heads from the students of Classes I to VIII is "not violative" of the right to free and compulsory education under the constitution and also RTE Act.

A bench of Chief Justice and Justice Manmohan said "this court is of the opinion that the action of the respondent (KVS) in charging Vidyalaya Vikas Nidhi and computer fund from students not admitted under the RTE Act is legally justified and not violative of Article 21-A (right to free and compulsory education for the children of the age of six to 14) of the Constitution of and Section 3 of RTE Act...."

The bench dismissed a PIL, filed by Social Jurists, an NGO, alleging that charging fees from students under various heads by KVS is against the Act which has guaranteed free and compulsory education for the children.

The court accepted the arguments placed by the counsel for KVS, saying "we are also in agreement with the submission of counsel for respondent Kendriya Vidyalaya, NTPC, Badarpur, being run by a project authority and not being financed by the Government of India, was entitled to a differential fee structure...."

The bench rejected the NGO's submission that all children should be given free elementary education irrespective of their socio-economic background, and said "in our opinion, if this submission were to be accepted, the government would have to reimburse fees to students of rich parents studying in private unaided schools. The intent of the Act is to ensure that all children have access to elementary education. The intent of the RTE Act is not to subsidise the wards of the rich and influential parents....."

Earlier, KVS's counsel had argued that after the enforcement of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, no tuition fee has been collected from students but on account of computer classes and other things, a minimal amount was charged from them.

According to the PIL, KVS have failed to provide totally free education to students studying in Class I to Class VIII in all Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) run by them as required in terms of Articles 21 and 21-A of the Constitution of India read with Section 3 of the RTE Act.

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