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Gujarat High Court on Friday 4th May, 2012, asked the principal secretaries of education and finance departments to file separate affidavits explaining the steps the state government has taken for providing free and compulsory education to children aged between 6 and 14 years. The court was hearing a petition filed by the state government, insisting that the aided primary schools where the children from economically weaker sections of society are studying must pay fees to the state government as the financial condition of the state is not such that it can pay 100 per cent grant-in-aid to such schools.
The affidavit has to be filed by May 7. A division bench of Justice V. M. Sahai and Justice A. J. Desai also asked the state government to place on record the number of children to whom education has to be imparted and how many municipal schools are available along with their intake capacity. The court also asked the government to explain the reason for shortage of funds for giving free education to children and the benefit schemes that the state has launched for such children. The court further stated that if the affidavits are not filed, then the officers concerned should be present in the court on May 7. As per the case details, Association of Schools situated in Vadodara had filed a petition before Gujarat High Court challenging the state government resolution dated September 9,1999 that mentioned that the schools receiving grant in the urban areas should recover 300% more fees from the poor students. The petitioner organisation contended that the students come from extremely poor financial background and hence they cannot afford such hike in fees. During that time, Justice Akil Kureshi had quashed the government resolution. The quashing order was challenged by the state government.
Courtesy: Times of India
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