Friday, February 14, 2014

Court asks collector to decide on students' plea

Court asks collector to decide on students' plea

TNN Nov 7, 2013, 02.57AM IST

KOCHI: The high court on Wednesday asked Thrissur collector to decide on a claim by a group of Kendriya Vidyalaya students on the right to free transportation to school and back under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009, commonly known as Right to Education (RTE) Act.
Justice P R Ramachandra Menon was considering a petition by students of Kendriya Vidyalaya at Puranattukara in Thrissur. They had alleged that charging for transportation to school and back infringes their constitutional right to education guaranteed under Article 21A and section 3 of RTE Act.
In the petition filed through advocate C V Manuvilsan, the students had challenged a communication issued by the school's PTA sub committee that managed transportation, asking the students using the school bus to pay for transportation.
It was argued by the students that it was the duty of the school authorities, central and state governments, and the CBSE to provide facilities to children to attend school and ensure right to compulsory education.
Provisions in RTE Act declare a visible right to every child, of the age of six to 14, to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till completion of elementary education and for this purpose, no child shall be liable to pay any fee or charge or expense which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing the elementary education, the petition had said.
The Supreme Court had held in 2008, in the Ashok Kumar Thakur v Union of India case, that the government should "fully implement" the RTE Act in the entire country. The court also said without article 21A (right to education), the other fundamental rights were effectively rendered meaningless, the students had argued.
Defining compulsory education, the RTE Act includes attendance also as the obligation of the government, granting children undergoing elementary education the right to free and compulsory transportation to the school, it was contended.

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