SC seeks Centre’s response on applicability of RTE on minority institutions.

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from the Centre on a plea seeking re-look by a larger constitution bench on whether minority institutions – aided and unaided – were excluded entirely from the ambit of the Right to Education Act, or from some of its provisions like reservation for students from weaker sections.

The court has also sought response from the Uttar Pradesh government.

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The bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C. Nagappan sought response from the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government on the plea that said that minority institutions needed no recognition as mandated under the RTE Act after they have been excluded from its purview.

The five judges constitution bench by its May 6, 2014, judgment while upholding the validity of the Right to Education Act, 2009 had said that it was not applicable to the aided or unaided minority schools.

While upholding the Constitution (Ninety-third Amendment) Act, 2005, and that the RTE Act was not ultra vires of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, the constitution bench had said, “We, however, hold that the 2009 Act insofar as it applies to minority schools, aided or unaided, covered under clause (1) of Article 30A of the Constitution is ultra vires the Constitution.”

Article 30 of the constitution guarantees the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

Appearing for the petitioner – Independent Schools Federation of India – counsel Ravi Prakash Gupta told the court that after the May 6, 2014, constitution bench judgment minority educational institutions don’t need even the recognition as provided under Section 18 (No School to be established without obtaining certificate of recognition) and Section 19 (Norms and standards for school) of the RTE Act.

Ravi Pravash Gupta referred to earlier seven judges, nine judges and 11 judges bench judgment pointing out that apex court had earlier held that minority education institutions were not free from minimum regulatory measures.

As Gupta mentioned earlier larger benches verdicts, the bench said that those judgments were prior to the constitution amendment and enactment of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Asking for the response from the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government on the plea by the petitioner – Independent Schools Federation of India – the bench directed the listing of the matter on October 5 for further hearing.