New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on the validity of provisions of the
Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act which make it
mandatory for private schools to reserve of 25 per cent seats
for children of economically backward sections.
A bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and
justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swantanter Kumar concluded the
marathon hearings which began on February 17 to examine
certain provisions of the law which made right to education a
fundamental right of children in the age group of 6-14 years.
A batch of petitions by private unaided institutions
and others contended that the Act violated the rights of
private educational institutions under Article 19(1)(g) which
provided maximum autonomy to private managements to run their
institutions without governmental interference.
However, the Centre defended the law saying it was
aimed at uplifting the socially and economically weaker
section of society.
The Centre emphasised the need to de-link merit and
talent from these social and economic differences and said
that the act calls for "moving towards composite classrooms
with children from diverse backgrounds, rather than
homogeneous and exclusivist schools".
The main petitioner Society for Un-aided Private
Schools, Rajasthan, and a host of associations representing
various private schools have questioned the validity of the
Act on the ground that it impinged on their rights to run the
The Act also mandated that private educational
institutions have to reserve 25 per cent of the seats for
children from poor families.