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Saturday, 22 August 2020

Punjab and Haryana High Court notice to Admn on plea for refund of education expenses

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today put the Chandigarh Administration on notice on a petition filed by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan for reimbursement of education expenses incurred on 25 per cent students admitted under the EWS category from 2011-12 till date.

The notice by Justice Anil Kshetarpal came after the Bench was told, among other things, that the reimbursement was mandated under Section 12 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Appearing before Justice Kshetarpal's Bench, senior advocate Munisha Gandhi and advocate Viraj Gandhi prayed for issuance of directions to the respondents to reimburse the amount for all 25 per cent students admitted under the EWS category from 2011-12 to 2018-19. Gandhi said it was being done just to the extent of 10 per cent of the students admitted under the EWS category.

Directions were also sought to lay down, in a time-bound and transparent manner, proper guidelines/procedure for implementation of the admissions under the reserved categories, more particularly for the reimbursement of expenses incurred in giving such admissions, besides ensuring establishment of educational institutions in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Gandhi said directions were also required to be issued to the respondents to adhere to the mandate under Section 6 of the RTE Act, 2009, and first admit all desirous students to the government schools before advising the petitioner-institute to admit students under the EWS category. The petitioner should be asked to admit students only when vacancies in government schools have been exhausted.

He added the respondents were also required to be restrained from compelling the petitioner to admit students under the EWS category till the pending dues were cleared/reimbursement made.

The respondents, on one hand, were not reimbursing the expenses provided for under the Act. On the other hand, they were insisting on accommodation of full percentage of EWS category students. Simultaneously, the students were being prohibited from increasing fees, which was completely arbitrary and illegal.

He added the petitioner was rightly entitled to reimbursement expenses incurred towards 25 per cent students admitted under the EWS category as mandated under the 2009 Act. "The respondents' action of only providing reimbursement for 10 per cent students purportedly under the 2005 notification or

the 2009 Act is wholly erroneous, arbitrary, misconceived and illegal".


Reimbursement mandated under RTE Act

The notice by Justice Anil Kshetarpal came after the Bench was told that the reimbursement was mandated under Section 12 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

The Bench was also told that information received under the RTI Act clearly stated that all seats in government schools across Chandigarh had not been exhausted. Despite this, the respondents were forcing the petitioner to admit students under the EWS category, which was in violation of Section 6 and 8 of the RTE Act. It clearly stated that private schools were only required to admit students under the EWS category when all vacancies in the local neighborhood schools were exhausted.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3j1CsYw

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