A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices S A Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna took note of the plea which alleged that thousands of schools in the state "were hiding the student strength at the entry level class I to such an extent that it made a mockery" of the Right to Education which mandates that 25 per cent seats have to be reserved for the EWS students.
"The Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court may consider constituting a committee comprising a former (HC) judge as the chairperson and two or four other members, who may be government servants and a person having experience in the field of education, be also appointed as members," the bench said.
The bench said the allegations are required to be gone into by a fact-finding committee which will submit its report to the court within three months from the date of its first sitting.
It took note of the submissions of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves that after perusing the websites maintained by the state government, petitioner Sandip Harshadray Munjyasara found that several private unaided schools have been hiding the student strength at the entry level class I so that they are not made to give 25 per cent quota to EWS students.
"His research concluded that over 1,000 schools stood zero strength in class I and over 4,000 + schools showing less than 40 students as the strength in class I," the plea said.
The bench clarified that private schools are obliged to grant 25 per cent quota to EWS students of "existing actual strength" of total seats in every class.
The top court, on July 3, 2017, had issued notice to the Gujarat government on the plea.
The state government vehemently opposed the contention and said it has worked to ensure that EWS students get admission in private unaided schools under the RTE.
The Right to Education Act requires private schools to give 25 per cent free seats for students from economically weaker sections (EWS).
All private schools have to admit 25 per cent children from weaker sections and underprivileged groups residing within two kilometers of the school in class I or the lowest class in school under the RTE. PTI SJK MNL RKS SJK RDM RDM
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI