New Delhi, Dec 13: The Delhi High Court Friday held the act of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVS) all over the country charging fees under various heads from students of Classes 1 to 8 is not violative of the constitutional right to free and compulsory education and also RTE Act.
A division bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Manmohan dismissed a PIL, filed by NGO Social Jurists, 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.
“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 India and Section 3 of RTE Act…”
The bench rejected the NGO’s submission that all children should be given free elementary education irrespective of their socio-economic background.
“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…..”
Counsel for the KVS had earlier 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.
The PIL said that KVS have failed to provide totally free education to students studying in Classes 1 to 8 as required in terms of the constitutional and legal provisions.