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SC upholds Right to Education Act [Download epic 36,000-word judgment]

Right to school
Right to school

The Supreme Court struck down the challenge of private schools to the Right to Education Act (RTE) 2010, upholding its constitutional validity through a majority of chief justice SH Kapadia and Justice Swatanter Kumar.

Justice Radhakrishnan dissented from the view that a fourth of seats in all schools, including private ones, should be reserved for admission to economically weaker students.

The judgment, which was pronounced today, was reserved on 3 August 2011, after the three judge bench had given a prolonged hearing to the Society of Unaided Private Schools and a batch of other petitions contesting the RTE’ss provision mandating the 25 per cent reservation.

The Act, which is operational in at least 19 states, envisages free and compulsory education for all poor children aged between 6 and 14 years. The bench has brought all educational institutions within RTE’s ambit except for unaided minority institutions.

Mint reported that the judgment will be operational from 2012-13 academic year but would not apply retrospectively to any admissions or to resident students in boarding schools.

The private schools’ contention that such mandatory reservation would drain their resources was contested by the government, which promised reimbursement to the extent of the reservation, according to NDTV.

The judgment upheld the inclusive educational law contested by 32 petitioners.

Click here to download judgment.

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