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The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on a PIL seeking grant of free books and uniform to children belong to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category admitted to private unaided schools.

A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul reserved its judgement after hearing arguments of the Directorate of Education (DoE), an association of private unaided schools and an NGO which filed the PIL.

NGO Social Jurist in its petition has sought directions to the schools to grant free books and uniform to children belonging to the EWS category.

The plea, filed through advocate Khagesh Jha, has claimed that private schools running on land given by government on concessional rates are obligated to provide such amenities along with free tuition and admission to children belonging to EWS and disadvantaged groups.

The schools have, however, claimed they do not provide books and uniform to any student as the same would fall under commercial activity, which they cannot carry out.

They have also submitted that Delhi government provided reimbursement only to schools which are built on private land and no such relief is given to those who have obtained land from the government at concessional or institutional rates.

They have also challenged section 12(2) of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which lays down how reimbursement is to be provided to schools which admit children belonging to EWS category.

The schools had argued that reimbursement should be provided on the basis of actual expenditure on uniforms, text books and writing material incurred by a fee-paying student in a private unaided school and not as per the amount spent by the government on a child in their schools and sought quashing of the provision.

 


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