Court unhappy over government not responding to its directions

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday granted time till June 20 to the State government to respond to its directions issued on April 25 as well as the suggestions given by a court-appointed amicus curiae to ensure that no child in the six to 14 age group is left out of school.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna, issued the direction during the hearing of a public interest litigation petition, which the court initiated suo motu based on a news report that 54,000 children were still out of school even though the Right to Education Act mandated free and compulsory education for children in this age group.

In his report, amicus curiae Aditya Sondhi pointed out the need for looking into aspects such as empowering school development and monitoring committees for effective implementation of the RTE Act. He stressed the need for analysing the impact of the government’s decision for closing/merging government schools with low enrolment; private schools failing to admit children on account of inadequate compensation payable by the government; and fixation of higher income limit of Rs. 3.5 lakh for admission under RTE quota in private schools.

Though the Bench expressed displeasure over the government not responding to the court’s directions issued more than a month ago to provide details of schemes that encouraged the poor to send their children to schools, it noted that certain concrete directions required to be issued to ensure that no child was denied of education.