New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday rapped
DDA for demolishing a school run by an NGO, saying the
government and its agencies are required to provide free
education to children under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
"The RTE Act provides for free and mandatory education to
all till the age of 14 and it is their fundamental right. So,
it is obligatory on the government, DDA and MCD. Therefore,
they should take positive steps to accommodate students in
schools in their vicinity instead of throwing them out," a
bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.
"The government agencies should not resort to such acts
(demolition)," the court said.
The court was hearing the petition of NGO `Van Phool`
that the land developing agency had on July 18 demolished
its school at Yamuna Bazar here. Around 150 poor kids were
getting free education there.
The NGO`s counsel Jayshree Satpute said a "direction be
given to DDA to either restore the school which was demolished
on July 18 and or reimburse the NGO to enable it to construct
the school again."
The school, being run on donations, was serving around
150 students of the age group of 3 to 10 years, the NGO said.
Now, the NGO is left with no infrastructure and students
are forced to study under the open sky, it said.
"Without any shelter, it is likely that many students
will drop out. Students, who may return to school, will
certainly suffer in their studies," the petition said.
The act of DDA was violative of the RTE Act which
provides for free and mandatory education to all, it said.