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The Centre on Thursday, 19th July 2011, remained firm on implementing Right to Education (RTE) Act without any dilution and told the Supreme Court that even private schools have to keep 25% of its seats for students from weaker and economically disadvantaged sections.
Responding to the challenge to the constitutional validity of RTE Act by private schools arguing that it frustrated their fundamental right to trade, attorney general G E Vahanvati said the government had made aprovision to reimburse private schools the expenses incurred for admitting such students in 25% of its seats. If the schools insist on absolute autonomy,the goal of integrated universal elementary education will be compromised, he said before a bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar. Therefore, under the balancing principle, the autonomy of the institutions to admit students of their choice must be subject to admitting 25% students belonging to weaker and disadvantaged sections, Vahanvati said. He said the RTE Act was enacted to secure the fundamental right to education of children and steps taken by the government to further their right under Article 21-A of the Constitution could not be construed as stifling the private schools right to trade under Article 19(1) (g).
Courtesy: Times of India
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