Delhi HC cites 2014 ruling; tells govt to give uniform to EWS students, not cash
Delhi High Court has directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to provide school uniforms to students belonging to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) instead of cash.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma emphasized that the High Court had previously ordered the Delhi government in August 2014 to provide uniforms to students rather than cash.
“As there have been no modifications to this directive, the authorities are obligated to comply with it,” noted the bench also comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad while listing the case for further hearing on August 25.
Several pleas were heard by the court pertaining to the allocation of resources to economically disadvantaged and marginalized students in schools in the region.
These pleas also centered around the implementation of the provisions outlined in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, and the Delhi Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011.
The counsel representing the Delhi government, Santosh Kumar Tripathi, said that the government is currently providing books and study materials to the students, and plans to provide uniforms starting from the next academic session.
Tripathi added that the school administrators can purchase uniforms from the market after conducting a survey and receiving approval from the authorities. In the interim, the government will provide cash to the students to purchase uniforms.
“Paying in cash does not meet the requirements of the order. Compliance would involve providing a tailor to a school or group of schools. The government should indicate that it will approve Rs.50 per metre of cloth. If the school administrators claim that there is no cloth available for Rs.50 per metre, this approach is inadequate,” the court noted.
Advocate Kamal Gupta, who represented certain private schools in the case, argued that the EWS category students are given a meager amount of Rs.1,500 annually, which he believed is insufficient and denigrating to the EWS children.
The court responded by noting that Delhi is not exempt from the legal obligation to provide aid to EWS students and inquired why the government cannot provide uniforms to EWS students when certain schools are already doing so.
The bench pledged to supervise the process of uniform supply and stated, “We will make sure that uniforms are provided.”
[With Inputs from IANS]
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