Staff Reporter

The circular is violative of Article 30

Entitled to Constitutional protectionUrges the court to quash the circular

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed implementation of the Central Board of Secondary Education's October 2005 circular directing all schools affiliated to it to grant full waiver of fees from Class VI to girls who are single child to their parents. The court acted on a petition by a minority unaided institution, Carmel Convent School, which says that the circular is violative of Article 30 of the Constitution.

Justice Vikramjit Sen also issued notices to CBSE, the Centre and the Director of Education of the Delhi Government asking them to file replies to the petition within four weeks and posted the matter for further hearing on March 27.

The petitioner school through its lawyers Romy Chacko and A.K. Jha submitted that the circular be quashed, as, among other things, it was violative of Article 30 (right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions) of the Constitution.

The petitioner submitted that it was a minority educational institution entitled to Constitutional protection under Article 30 (1) (all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice) of the Constitution.

The petitioner argued that the restrictions imposed by CBSE could not apply to the minority educational institution in view of the Constitutional protection given to them, which includes the right to fix fees as well.

Counsel further submitted that CBSE also failed to take note of the distinction between the right conferred on aided and unaided educational institutions as laid down in the T.M.A Pai Foundation judgement of the Supreme Court in which the Apex Court has held that "in the case of private unaided institutions, maximum autonomy in the day-to-day administration has to be with the private unaided institutions.

Bureaucratic or governmental interference in the administration of such an institution will undermine its independence."

The circular was also violative of Articles 15 (1) of the Constitution, which prohibits the state from discriminating against any citizen on the ground of sex only and Article 14 as the circular had discriminated between the parents depending upon the number of children they had.

The petitioner urged the court to quash the circular and order that the petitioner school was not bound to admit any student on free-ship basis.

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