KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Thursday dismissed petitions filed by two students who sought admission to Class I at Kendriya Vidyalayas in Kochi under provisions of the Right to Education Act (RTE). Justice A M Shaffique considered petitions filed by Aiswarya S Shankar of Thoppumpady and Vignesh T S of Palluruthy. Kendriya Vidyalayas had allegedly denied admissions to both students to Class I.
In the petitions filed before the court, the students — represented by their parents — alleged that denial of admission to them, is in violation of Section 3 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, commonly known as the RTE Act.
"Every child of the age of six to fourteen years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till completion of elementary education," says Section 3 of the act. Further, Section 15 reads: "A child shall be admitted in a school and no admission be denied to any student."
The petitions said that denial of admission amounts to violation of fundamental right of the children, who hail from poor families.
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), which runs Kendriya Vidyalayas, had filed a statement contending that their obligation under the act is limited to providing free admission to 25% of the seats to children in the neighbourhood who belong to weaker sections of the society and disadvantaged groups.
Kendriya Vidyalayas fall under a specific category and stand on a different footing. They have no statutory obligation to provide automatic admission and free education to all students, KVS had submitted.
After considering the petitions, the court held that KVS had provided 25% of the seats to students from weaker sections of the society as specified in the RTE Act and, therefore, the petitions are not maintainable.