J&K: Petition seeks implementation of Right to Education Act, 25% reservation for BPL students


Mohammad Ahsan Untoo Versus state of J&K and others PIL 21/15, J&K High Court. Synopsis The petitioner is a social rights activist seeks the indulgence of the Hon’ble court through the PIL to direct all the private schools of the state to make 25% seats reserved for the students who belong to the under privileged section of society. Although there is a law in vogue in the state which makes it mandatory for the all the private schools to reserve the 25% out of the total seats to the students who belong to poor strata of the society but hardly any school complies with this law. The private schools besides other privileges are enjoying the possession of land on lease basis at pea nut price from the government from last many decades and some schools are enjoying it since from last more than a century. Petitioner also seeks that the quality of the education at government run schools should be made at par with the private schools which is one of the reasons that the students of the government school cannot compete with the students who are the products of private schools which ultimately results in discrimination. Facts Since right to education is a fundamental right but the students who cannot afford to receive the education in a private school are being compelled by circumstances to get the admission in the government schools where the quality of education is very poor as compared to private institutions. Although, the law says that 25% seats is to be reserved for the students who are poor but the factual figure speaks the otherwise. The private institutions are enjoying the patronage of state and poor are left to fend for themselves. The state has given the possession of land worth crores on lease basis to these schools and the rent fixed is less than Rs 200. In other words the schools are reaping the undue benefits from the state at the expense of poor. There is a condition stipulated in the lease which says that the poor would also be given the admission in the school. No, school gives such reservation as there is no policy by the schools in place. Prayer Petitioner seeks the implementation of Right to Education Act in the state and thereby directing the schools to make the reservation of 25% of the students who belong to Below Poverty Line (BPL) in all schools as mandatory. Petitioner also seeks directions against the state to improve the condition and quality of education in government run schools so that the students to come out from these schools can compete with the students who come out from private schools. Status The PIL was disposed off with a direction to all the respondents to frame a policy with regard to reservation to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) students in the private educational institutes as per the statute within a period of 6 months. Despite the lapse of more than six months, the private institutes failed to frame the policy and therefore a contempt petition has been filed in the court which is pending.