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Monday, 5 April 2010

Delhi HC to hear first petition under Right to Education

A class VI girl has moved the Delhi High Court against her school’s decision which chose to expel her because she failed in her final examinations and has asked for the court’s intervention to get her studies resumed in the same school.

Accusing St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School for violating her fundamental Right to education, the VI class student Suman Bhati has alleged that the school expelled her on the grounds that she failed in her final examination. Now she has no place to go her father Naresh Bhati alleged.

The writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution in the Delhi High Court yesterday by the lawyers Ashok Agarwal and Ms Kusum on behalf of Bhati against St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School for violating the child’s fundamental rights as well as violating the law of Right to Education and also against the Director of Education, GNCT for failing to take action against the school in accordance with law to allow the girl to continue her studies in the school.

The petition has alleged that the action on the part of the Xavier’s Senior Secondary School against the student for expelling her from the school on March 17, 2010 is illegal, anti-child, arbitrary, unjust, punitive in nature, unethical discriminatory, unconstitutional, violative of the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973, The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, hit by the provisions of Article 14 (right to equality), Article 21 (right to life with dignity), Article 21-A (right to education) and Article 38 (right to social justice) of the Constitution of India read with UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).

The petitioner has submitted that she has been a regular student of the respondent-school since KG. While the petitioner was studying in class IV, she failed in the examination and was detained in the same class. Thereafter, she qualified the Class IV examination and promoted to Class V.

On March 27, 2010, the Principal handed over the marks-sheet of Class VI to the petitioner’s father with the following remark: detained and withdrawn. It was also told to the parent verbally that the student had been removed from the school from now on. Mr Bhati requested the Principal of the school to not to remove his daughter as it would ruin the future of his child. He also submitted in written to the Principal with a request to permit her child to continue her studies in the school.

However, the principal remained adamant throughout and declined to accept the request of the parent.

Mr Bhati then approached Social Jurist, A Civil Rights Group with a request to help the child. It is submitted that the Social Jurist sent a phonogram on March 31 to the school followed by a representation requesting the school to forthwith allow the petitioner to continue her studies in the school. However, no response has been received so far, Mr Agarwal said.

Mr Agarwal in the petition said, it is unfortunate that in a time when the Government is coming up with laws, schemes and policies to encourage the girl child to study more, here is a school that is trying to jeopardize a class VI girl’s future by expelling her from the school. It is highly unjust as well as illegal to expel a student who wishes to study further and make her career, he said.

The petition will come up for hearing before Justice Kailash Gambhir on Arpil 5.

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