S. Ravindra Bhat, J.
1. The petitioner has approached this Court for a direction the respondents to re-admit his son in class VI.
2. According to the pleadings the petitioner’s son did not qualify in the 2006 annual examination of class VI due to his continued illness. It was claimed that he was re-admitted in April, 2006 on account of his failure; on 30.3.2007, the result was declared and petitioner’s son report disclosed that he has failed.
3. It is averred that the petitioner furnished a certificate about illness of his son, to the effect that he was continuously not unwell since 2004 Reliance has been placed upon several documents including the medical certificates and discharge certificate issued by the G.B.Pant Hospital as well as copies of certain reports in that regard.
4. According to these documents the petitioner’s son was ailing with Childhood Abscon Epilepsy for 1-2 years. The discharge summary also discloses that the child had 10-20 seizures daily, and developed toxic effects from Antiepiletic drugs for 1 and a half years and was hospitalized. The relevant records discloses a long history of the illness. Copies of reports have been filed.
5. The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan which is the respondent in these proceedings does not deny the facts but it is relying upon Article 98 of the Education Code to deny readmission, their stand that the petitioner’s son is dis-entitled to continue education in the school. Article 98 reads as follows : ‘Article 98. A pupil who fails once at the annual examination (class I to IX and XI) may be admitted to the same class in t he next session of the same or any to her Kendriya Vidyalaya. A pupil who fails twice at the annual examination shall not be admitted even in special cases.’
6. Learned Counsel for the respondent urged that the provision which dis-entitle the petitioner’s son to re-admission after he failed twice in the annual examination, was designed to subserve a larger purpose. It is also contended that such provision was to ensure that the child did not find himself a misfit if he were to continue in the school.
7. With the amendment to the Constitution and introduction of Article 21A, the State is under an obligation to provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age 6-14 years. There is no dispute that the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan is a Central Government sponsored body. It is expected to balance its public duties in imparting education as also evolving suitable standards and ensuring that the Mandate are fulfillled.
8. In this case the respondents have not denied that the petitioner was suffering from some illness. What is in dispute the entitlement of the child to be continued after two opportunities were given to him to clear Class VI. In this regard undoubtedly the evolution of a general policy not to admit students is withing the domain of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. Yet to rigid an insistence of the provision, in Article 98, in my considered opinion defeats the larger objective. It is well settled that when an executive or administrative agency evolves policies, the structure of the policy has to subserve the larger public interest. Yet while doing so the exercise should not be self- defeating. In other words the administrator’s flexibility in giving relief in individual cases on due application of mind, after exercise of discretion, should not be impeded. Thus Article 98, even while putting in place the larger public interest in standards, in my opinion should not be construed as impeding the respondents’ basic discretion in determining (in suitable and deserving cases) on grounds of health and other factors where the child is unable to attend the classes and pass the examinations more than twice, for good reasons whether discretion should be exercised and another chance given.
9. In view of the above and having considered the materials on the record I am of the opinion that the Article 98 should not be construed as a rigid bar and inflexible. The respondent should consider the claims of the petitioner’s son, who is now 13 years and seeks re-admission in VI standard, in the light of the peculiar facts and the ailment which he had been suffering for the last three years or so. This consideration shall be made and decision indicated to the petitioner within three weeks. Till the final decision the petitioner’s son shall not be disturbed and he will be allowed to continue to study, in the school. Directed accordingly.
The petition is disposed of in the above terms. Order dusty to parties.