Reimburse funds to private, unaided schools for SC/ST students: HC

Bombay HC directed Maharashtra govt to reimburse unaided schools for education of students belonging to SCs and STs under Right to Education Act.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to reimburse private-funded and unaided schools across the state for education of students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes under the Right to Education Act.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice N M Jamdar directed the government to disburse funds from the academic year 2010-11 irrespective of the income of the students` parents.

"The government shall pay Rs 10,000 per child per year from Class one to four and then Rs 25,000 from Class five to eight per child per year. The reimbursement process shall be done by May 2013," the court said today.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Naresh Gosavi and several other parents whose children are studying in private-aided and unaided schools under the "free studentship".

According to petitioners since the government has failed to release grants under RTE to the schools, the children are being prohibited from attending school.

Under RTE, the amount for students of Class nine and ten is only Rs 3,600 per child per year.

The high court said the funds have to be disbursed for students irrespective of the income of the parent since the government had earlier suggested that it would be considering checking the Income Tax filed by persons from the reserved category before granting benefits under the SC and ST Act.

The government had contended that there were IAS officers belonging to SC/ST who admit their children in expensive private schools and expect the benefits to be extended.

Gayatri Singh and Kranti L C, advocates for the petitioner, had argued that the government had stopped disbursement of fees since 2007 due to which several students have dropped out of school.