J&K High Court has issued a notice to the government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking guidelines for admission of Children with Special Needs (CWSN) under Right to Education Act.
A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta issued the notice to Commissioner Secretary, School Education; Director, School Education, Kashmir and some private schools of Srinagar.
They have been directed to file the response by September 18. The plea also seeks directions for ensuring the admission, attendance and free education to children with bench mark disability and removal of other barriers preventing them from getting quality education in recognized unaided private schools of J&K.
The PIL has been filed by two social activists — Zaheer Abbas Jan and Mudasir Shaban Dar and Dr Chitanjeet Kour, a physiotherapist, through advocate Hasnain M Khwja and advocate Syed Musaib.
The petitioners said Parliament amended part 4 of the Constitution of India and incorporated Article 21-A, a new Article to incorporate Right to Education of a child between six to 14 years as their fundamental right.
“A duty was imposed on the appropriate government to protect their fundamental right” they said.
They submitted in 2009 Parliament enacted Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, a follow up legislation for implementing the provision of Article 21-A of the Constitution.
“The special provision for the EWS/DG/CWSN children has been incorporated in the Act itself to address the practical difficulty,” they said.
They submitted that in 2012 provisions of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act was interpreted by Supreme Court that each and every child between six to 14 years has their fundamental right of not only education but quality education.
“The top Court not only upheld the provision regarding destitute children but also appreciated the provisions of Act which addresses the specific problems faced by the children belonging to underprivileged category,” they said.
The petitioners submitted they have time and again approached the concerned authorities including Chief Secretary and Director School Education, Kashmir for redressal of their appeal for providing inclusive education to children with special needs in top private schools.
“However our representation was never replied by the authorities,” they said.
They also submitted that the PIL was for the benefit of thousands of children with special need who are not able to have access to quality education in their neighborhood schools as per their rights and entitlements under Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act.