Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has granted government four weeks more time to file response to a Public Interest Litigation, seeking issuance of the appropriate 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 granted the time after NH Shah, Sr. AAG, representing the authorities, sought further time to file the reply.
“Let him file the same within four weeks,” the court said, adding, “Rest of the respondents who have not filed the reply shall also file the same within the aforesaid period.”
The PIL also seeks directions from the court to ensure the admission, attendance and free education of Children with bench mark disability free from cost and any other barriers preventing them from getting quality education in the Recognized unaided private schools of Jammu and Kashmir.
The PIL has been filed by three persons, two of whom— Zaheer Abbas Jan of Bemina and Mudasir Shaban Dar of Bandipora— have stated that they are two social workers while another— Dr. Chitanjeet Kour of Nanak Nagar Jammu, a physiotherapist doctor by profession.
The petitioners said that Indian Parliament amended part 4 of the Constitution of India and incorporated Article 21 A, a new article in the constitution to incorporate Right to Education of a child between 6 to 14 years as their fundamental right. They said that a duty was imposed on the appropriate government to protect their fundamental right.
In 2009, they said, the Indian parliament enacted the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, a follow up legislation for implementing the provision of Article 21A of the Constitution of India.
The special provision for the EWS/DG/CWSN children, they said, has been incorporated in the Act itself to address the practical difficulty.
In 2012, they said, the provisions of right of children to free and compulsory Education Act was interpreted by Supreme Court that each and every child between 6 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 that they 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 CWSN in top private schools. However they said their representation was never replied by the authorities. “The petitioners also personally met the concerned authorities but all in vain,” 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 of quality education in their neighborhood schools as per their rights and entitlements under Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. (GNS)
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