Friday, January 24, 2014

SC to review RTE Act for ‘anti-minority’ provisions

SC to review RTE Act for ‘anti-minority’ provisions

Saturday, 11 January 2014 | PNS | New Delhi
 
The Supreme Court on Friday decided to have a fresh look at its decision upholding the Right to Education (RTE) Act after a petition by Muslim Minority Schools Association challenged the anti-minority provisions in the law that received Supreme Court’s assent on April 12, 2012.
A Bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and Vikramajit Sen referred the petition to a larger bench after hearing the Association that consisted of schools administered by Muslim in Tamil Nadu. Senior advocate M Ajmal Khan, who argued the petition, submitted that certain Sections of the Act infringed the freedom guaranteed to unaided minority schools under Article 30 of the Constitution as it required even minority unaided schools to constitute a School Management Committee comprising of outsiders to displace the school management.
Although Parliament introduced an Amendment to the law in June 2012 to make the recommendations by the School Management Committee advisory, the petition submitted, “The very introduction of an external agency such as the School Management Committee into the administration, even if its functions are purely advisory would be to displace the administration in the hands of a body, in the constitution of which the management has no role.”
Already, the apex court on March 22 last year referred the issue of validity of Article 15(5) in the light of the RTE decision to a larger bench. The latest petition is likely to be heard with the pending matter.   

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