School accused of refusing admission under Right to Education Act

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday stayed the criminal case registered against a private school for allegedly not providing admission to children belonging to economically weaker sections of society under the 25 per cent quota as per the Right to Education Act.

Justice K.N. Keshavanarayana passed the interim order on a petition filed by K.P. Gopalakrishna, Secretary, National Academy of Learning, Basaveshwaranagar, and Catherina Koshy, the school’s principal.

The Basaveshwaranagar police had registered a First Information Report (FIR) on September 3, 2013 under Section 188 [disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant] of the Indian Penal Code. The FIR was based on a complaint given by the Block Education Officer, Bangalore North Zone-1. It was alleged in the complaint that despite directions under the RTE Act the school refused admission.

However, the school’s contention was that it does not fall under the purview of the State government as it has been imparting education by affiliating to the Central Board of Secondary Education. Moreover, it was contended in the petition that the police have no power to register an FIR under this section, as any such complaint should be made before the judicial magistrate.

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