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Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (in short ‘the RTE Act’) The Writ Petition was filed in the year 2004 and since then, several interim orders have been passed giving directions to the States and the Union Territories to provide the basic infrastructure facilities like toilet facility, drinking water, class rooms, appointment of teachers and all other facilities so that children can study in a clean and healthy environment. We are, inclined to dispose of this Writ Petition with a direction to all the States to give effect to the various directions already given by this Court like providing toilet facilities for boys and girls, drinking water facilities, sufficient class rooms, appointment of teaching and non- teaching staff etc., if not already provided, within six months from today. We make it clear that these directions are applicable to all the schools, whether State owned or privately owned, aided or unaided, minority or non- minority. As the writ petition is disposed of, no orders are required to be passed on applications for intervention and impleadment and the same are disposed of. 10. We make it clear that if the directions are not fully implemented, it is open to the aggrieved parties to move this Court for appropriate orders.

REPORTABLE

English: The supreme court of india. Taken abo...

English: The supreme court of india. Taken about 170 m from the main building outside the perimeter wall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 631 OF 2004

 

Environment & Consumer Protection Foundation             .. Petitioner

Versus

Delhi Administration & Ors.                              .. Respondents

 

J U D G M E N T

 

K. S. Radhakrishnan, J.

 

1.    This Court’s jurisdiction under Article  32  of  the  Constitution  of

India has been invoked by the petitioner, a registered  charitable  society,

seeking various directions to  improve  the  conditions  of  Government  and

aided schools and also school run by  the  local  authorities  so  that  the

constitutional objective of providing free and  compulsory  education  under

Article 21A of the Constitution of India would be a reality.

 

2.    The Writ Petition was filed in the year 2004 and since  then,  several

interim orders have been passed giving directions  to  the  States  and  the

Union Territories  to  provide  the  basic  infrastructure  facilities  like

toilet facility, drinking water, class rooms, appointment  of  teachers  and

all other facilities so that children can  study  in  a  clean  and  healthy

environment.   While  the  matter  was  pending  before  this   Court,   the

Parliament enacted the Right of Children to Free  and  Compulsory  Education

Act, 2009 (in short ‘the RTE Act’).  The constitutional validity of the  RTE

Act was challenged before this Court  and  this  Court,  vide  its  Judgment

dated 12.4.2012 in Society for  Unaided  Private  Schools  of  Rajasthan  v.

Union of India and Another (2012)6 SCC  1,  upheld  its  validity  and  gave

various directions, some of which are as follows:

 

 

a) In exercise of the powers conferred upon the appropriate Government

under Section 38 of the RTE Act, the Government shall  frame  rules

for carrying out the purposes of this Act and  in  particular,  the

matters stated under sub-Section (2) of Section 38 of the RTE  Act.

 

 

 

 

b) The directions, guidelines and rules shall be framed by the Central

Government, appropriate  Government  and/or  such  other  competent

authority under the provisions of the RTE Act, as expeditiously  as

possible and, in any case, not later than six months from the  date

of pronouncement of this judgment.

 

 

 

c) All the State Governments which  have  not  constituted  the  State

Advisory Council in terms of Section 34 of the  RTE  Act  shall  so

constitute the Council within three months from today.  The Council

so  constituted  shall  undertake  its   requisite   functions   in

accordance with the provisions of Section 34 of the Act and  advise

the Government in terms of clauses (6), (7) and (8) of  this  order

immediately thereafter.

 

 

 

d) Central Government and  State  Governments  may  set  up  a  proper

Regulatory Authority for supervision and effective  functioning  of

the Act and its implementation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.    This Court, therefore, directed the  Central  Government,  appropriate

Government and other competent authorities functioning under the RTE Act  to

issue proper directions/guidelines for  its  full  implementation  within  a

period of six months from the date of the pronouncement  of  that  judgment.

This Court also directed all  the  State  Governments  to  constitute  State

Advisory Council within  three  months  from  the  date  of  that  judgment.

Advisory Councils so constituted were directed to discharge their  functions

in accordance with the provision of Section 34 of the  RTE  Act  and  advise

the Government in terms of Clauses (6), (7) and (8)  of this Court’s  order.

The necessity of constituting a proper Regulatory Authority  for  effective

functioning of the RTE Act and its implementation was also highlighted.  The

Central Government was also directed to frame  rules,  in  exercise  of  its

powers under Section 38 of the RTE Act, for  proper  implementation  of  the

RTE Act.

 

4.    On the  basis  of  directions  issued  by  this  Court  in  this  Writ

Petition, some of the States have responded by  furnishing  the  details  of

infrastructure  facilities  available  in  the  schools  situated  in  their

respective States.   This Court noticed that some of the  schools  have  not

provided proper toilet facilities for boys and girls  and  in  some  of  the

schools, it was noticed, that there is no provision for  drinking  water  as

well.  Detailed interim orders were passed by this Court  on  29.4.2011  and

22.9.2011.  On 18.10.2011, this Court passed the following order:

“We have heard the learned counsel for the parties.  It  is

imperative that all the schools must provide toilet  facilities.

Empirical  researches  have  indicated  that   wherever   toilet

facilities are not provided in the schools, parents do not  send

their children (particularly  girls)  to  schools.   It  clearly

violates the right to free and compulsory education of  children

guaranteed under Article 21-A of the Constitution.

 

 

We direct all the  States  and  the  Union  Territories  to

ensure that toilet facilities are  made  available  in  all  the

schools on or before 30th November, 2011.  In  case  it  is  not

possible to have permanent construction  of  toilets,  at  least

temporary toilets be provided in the schools on or  before  30th

November, 2011 and permanent toilets be made available  by  31st

December, 2011.

 

 

We direct the Chief Secretaries/Administrators of  all  the

States/Union Territories to file their affidavits on  or  before

30th November, 2011.”

 

 

 

 

5.    Again, on 5.12.2011, this Court reiterated the directions as follows:

“In  our  previous  order  dated  18.10.2011,  we   clearly

indicated that it  is  imperative  that  all  the  schools  must

provide toilet facilities; empirical researches  have  indicated

that wherever toilet facilities are not provided in the schools,

parents do not  send  their  children  (particularly  girls)  to

schools.  It clearly violates the right to free  and  compulsory

education of children  guaranteed  under  Article  21-A  of  the

Constitution.  Office Report dated 3rd  day  of  December,  2011

indicates that despite opportunity granted, the States of  Tamil

Nadu, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, West  Bengal,  Arunachal

Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Tripura and Union Territory of  Lakshdweep

have not  filed  their  affidavits.   One  more  opportunity  is

granted  to  these  States/Union   Territory   to   file   their

affidavits.  Let the affidavits be filed within two  weeks  from

today.  No further time shall be granted for this purpose.

 

 

We are  told  that  the  Ministry  of  Drinking  Water  and

Sanitation is the concerned ministry.  We  request  the  learned

additional Solicitor General appearing on behalf of the Union of

India to take instructions from the Ministry of  Drinking  Water

and Sanitation and file an  affidavit  within  four  weeks  from

today, indicating therein the latest position about the  problem

of drinking water in the country.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.    The situation that we get in few States  has  been  elaborately  dealt

with by this Court in its  interim  order  dated  13.1.2012.   Some  of  the

States have taken some  positive  steps,  but  some  the  States  still  lag

behind.  Taking note of all those aspects, this Court  passed  an  order  on

12.3.2012, the operative portion of which reads as follows:

“The Chief Secretaries of various States were  directed  to

ensure that separate permanent toilets for boys  and  girls  are

constructed in all the schools in their respective States on  or

before 31st March, 2012 and in  case  it  was  not  possible  to

construct permanent  toilets,  then  at  least  emporary  toilet

facilities were directed tobe made available on or  before  28th

February, 2012 and it was directed than  an  affidavit  to  that

effect shall be filed by the Chief Secretaries on or before 28th

February, 2012.

 

 

In pursuance of the aforesaid  directions  of  this  Court,

affidavits have been filed  by  the  States  of  Uttar  Pradesh,

Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Nagaland,  West

Bengal,  Andhra  Pradesh,  Maharashtra,  Uttarakhand,   Odhisha,

Karnataka,   Jharkhand,   Himachal   Pradesh,   Goa,   Municiapl

Corporation of Delhi and the  Union  Territory  of  Lakshadweep.

These States/union Territories in  their  respective  affidavits

have indicated that they have either constructed the toilets for

boys and girls or they would complete it before  the  stipulated

date that is before 31st March, 2012.

 

 

According to the Office Report  dated  3rd  day  of  March,

2012, following States have not filed their affidavits:

 

 

1.    Tripura

2.    Tamil Nadu

3.    Sikkim

4.    Gujarat

5.    Bihar

6.    Rajasthan

7.    Jammu and Kashmir

8.    Madhya Pradesh

9.    Kerala

 

 

In the interest of justice, we grant one  more  opportunity

to these States to file their respective affidavits  within  two

weeks from today, failing which the Chief Secretary of the State

concerned shall remain present in this Court on the next date of

hearing.  No further time shall be granted.

 

 

Learned counsel appearing on  behalf  of  the  Ministry  of

Drinking Water and Sanitation has handed over  an  affidavit  of

Sujoy Mojumdar, Director (Water), Ministry of Drinking Water and

Sanitation,  Government  of  India.   In  the  affidavit  it  is

mentioned that under the “Total Sanitation Campaign” (TSC),  the

Central Government supplements the  efforts  of  the  States  in

providing sanitation facilities in the  rural  areas,  including

identified existing rural Government schools and  Anganwadis  by

providing them with financial assistance and technical  support.

It is further submitted in the affidavit that under the TSC,  at

present,  School  Sanitation  Hygiene  Education  Programme   is

operational in 607 districts spread across 30 States  and  Union

Territories and a total of 11,99,117 school  toilets  have  been

financially assisted under the TSC.  The cumulative progress  of

school toilets unit blocks financially assisted under the TSC in

the entire country till 29.2.2012 are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Objectives             –           13,14,636

 

 

Project Performance                  –          11,99,117

 

 

Percentage-wise progress       –           91.21%

 

 

In paragraph 9 of the said  affidavit  it  is  stated  that

provision of sanitation facility in Government schools  is  made

by States within their TSC allocation.   Out  of  the  total  of

Rs.3068.51 crore  approved  for  School  Sanitation  under  TSC,

s.2268.28 crore (cumulative) has been  reported  as  expenditure

and utilized by the States.  The State-wise details of financial

progress and utilization under TSC till 29.2.2012 are  tabulated

and enclosed along with the affidavit.

 

 

In paragraph 10 of the affidavit it is  mentioned  that  as

per information provided by the Department of  School  Education

and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, the number

of Government schools with sanitation facility available, as per

their District Information System for Education  (DISE)  2010-11

is as under:

 

 

Total Number of Govt. Schools        –     10,96,064

 

 

Government Schools with Girls Toilet –     6,24,074

 

 

Government Schools with Boys/

Common Toilet                  –     8,24,605

 

 

Let copies of this affidavit be supplied by the Registry to

the learned counsel appearing for the  States/Union  Territories

within one week from today.

 

 

Mr. Ravindra Bana, learned counsel appearing on  behalf  of

the petitioner submits that after this Court has dealt with  the

problem of electricity, potable drinking water and  toilets  for

boys and girls in the Government schools, the other main problem

which is still persistent in most of the  schools  is  regarding

teachers and infrastructure.  In order to ensure  compliance  of

Article 21A of the Constitution, it is imperative  that  schools

must have qualified teachers and basic infrastructure.

 

 

Learned  counsel  appearing  on  behalf  of  the   National

University for Educational Planning and Education undertakes  to

file  a  comprehensive  affidavit  giving   therein   up-to-date

position about the availability of teachers  and  infrastructure

in schools.

 

 

Let  a  comprehensive  affidavit  be  filed  by   all   the

States/Union Territories regarding teachers  and  infrastructure

in schools within three weeks from today, with an  advance  copy

to the learned counsel for the petitioner and  the  counsel  for

the States/Union Territories.”

 

7.    We notice that some of the  States  have  not  fully  implemented  the

directions issued by this Court in Society for Unaided  Private  Schools  of

Rajasthan (supra) as well as  the  provisions  contained  in  the  RTE  Act.

Considering the facts that this Court has already issued various  directions

for proper implementation of the RTE Act and to frame  rules,  there  is  no

reason to keep this Writ Petition pending.

 

8.    We also notice that Section 31 of  the  RTE  Act  has  also  conferred

certain functions on the National Commission for Protection of Child  Rights

and also on the State Commissions.  Section 31 reads as follows:

           “31. Monitoring of child’s right to education.- (1) The National

      Commission for Protection of Child Rights constituted under section 3,

      or, as the case may be, the State Commission for Protection  of  Child

      Rights constituted under section 17, of the Commissions for Protection

      of Child Rights  Act,  2005,  shall,  in  addition  to  the  functions

      assigned to them under that Act, also perform the following functions,

      namely:—

 

 

              a) examine and review the safeguards for rights provided by or

                 under this Act and recommend measures for  their  effective

                 implementation;

 

 

              b) inquire into complaints relating to child’s right  to  free

                 and compulsory education; and

 

 

              c) take necessary steps as provided under sections 15  and  24

                 of the said Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act.

 

 

 

      (2) The said Commissions  shall,  while  inquiring  into  any  matters

      relating to child’s right  to  free  and  compulsory  education  under

      clause (c) of sub-section (1), have the same  powers  as  assigned  to

      them respectively under sections 14 and 24 of the said Commissions for

      Protection of Child Rights Act.

 

 

      (3)  Where the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has not

      been constituted in a State, the appropriate Government may,  for  the

      purpose of performing the functions specified in Clauses (a) to (c) of

      sub-section (1), constitute such authority, in such manner and subject

      to such terms and conditions, as may be prescribed.”

 

We are confident that those statutory authorities  will  also  examine

and review the safeguards for the child’s rights and recommend measures  for

their effective implementation.

 

9.    We are, inclined to dispose of this Writ Petition with a direction  to

all the States to give effect to the various  directions  already  given  by

this Court like providing toilet facilities for  boys  and  girls,  drinking

water facilities, sufficient class rooms, appointment of teaching  and  non-

teaching staff etc., if not already provided, within six months from  today.

 We make it clear that these directions are applicable to all  the  schools,

whether State owned or privately owned, aided or unaided, minority  or  non-

minority.  As the writ petition is disposed of, no orders  are  required  to

be passed on applications for intervention and impleadment and the same  are

disposed of.

 

10.   We make it clear that if the directions are not fully implemented,  it

is open to the aggrieved parties to move this Court for appropriate  orders.

 

 

……………………………….…J

(K. S. RADHAKRISHNAN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…………………………………..J.

(DIPAK MISRA)

New Delhi,

October 3, 2012

 

ITEM NO.1C               COURT NO.11             SECTION PIL

 

[FOR JUDGMENT]

 

 

 

S U P R E M E   C O U R T   O F   I N D I A

 

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

 

WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO(s). 631 OF 2004

 

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL & CONSUMER PROTECT. FOUND.          Petitioner(s)

 

VERSUS

 

DELHI ADMINISTRATION & ORS.                       Respondent(s)

 

 

 

Date: 03/10/2012  This Petition was called on for judgment today.

 

For Petitioner(s)      Mr. Ravindra Bana,Adv.

 

For Respondent(s)      Ms. Sunita Sharma,Adv.

 

Ms. Sushma Suri,Adv.

 

Mrs. Anil Katiyar, Adv.

 

Mr. D.S. Mahra,Adv.

 

Mr. Khwairakpam Nobin Singh,Adv.

 

Mr. Sapam Biswajit Meitei,Adv.

 

Mr. Manjit Singh,AAG, State of Haryana

 

Mrs. Vivekta Singh,Adv.

 

Mr. Tarjit Singh,Adv.

 

Mr. Kamal Mohan Gupta,Adv.

 

Mr. Atul Jha,Adv.

 

Mr. Sandeep Jha,Adv.

 

Mr. Dharmendra Kumar Sinha,Adv.

 

Dr. Manish Singhvi,AAG, State of Rajasthan

 

Mr. Irshad Ahmad,Adv.

 

Mr. Sanjiv Sen,Adv.

 

Mr. P. Parmeswaran,Adv.

 

Mr. Ranjan Mukherjee,Adv.

 

Mr. S. Bhowmick,Adv.

 

Mr. S.C. Ghosh,Adv.

 

Mr. Sunil Fernandes,Adv.

 

Ms. Vernika Tomar,Adv.

 

Ms. Astha Sharma,Adv.

 

Mr. Amitesh Kumar,Adv.

 

Mr. Ravi Kant,Adv.

 

Ms. Prerna Mehta,Adv.

 

Ms. Binu Tamta ,Adv

 

Mr. G. Prakash ,Adv

 

Mr. Gopal Singh ,Adv

 

Ms. Hemantika Wahi ,Adv

 

Mr. Naresh K. Sharma ,Adv

 

Ms. Pratibha Jain ,Adv

 

Mr. Surya Kant ,Adv

 

Mr. Shrish Kumar Misra ,Adv

 

Mr. Tara Chandra Sharma ,Adv

 

M/S Arputham,Aruna & Co. ,Adv

 

Mr. Irshad Ahmad ,Adv

 

Mr. V.G. Pragasam ,Adv

 

Mr. S. Rajappa ,Adv

 

Mr. Krishnanand Pandeya ,Adv

 

Mr. Ramesh Babu M.R. ,Adv

 

Mr. Radha Shyam Jena ,Adv

 

Ms. Asha Gopalan Nair ,Adv

 

Mr. Abhijit Sengupta ,Adv

 

Ms. Bina Madhavan ,Adv

 

Mr. Jagjit Singh Chhabra ,Adv

 

M/S Corporate Law Group ,A.O.R.

 

Ms. Vibha Datta Makhija ,Adv

 

Mr. Kuldip Singh ,Adv

 

Mr. S. Thananjayan ,Adv

 

Mr. Abhishek Atrey ,Adv

 

Mr. G.N.Reddy ,Adv

 

Mr. Sudarshan Singh Rawat ,Adv

 

M/S. Bhatia & Co. ,Adv

 

Ms. Prerna Mehta ,Adv

 

 

 

Hon’ble Mr.  Justice  K.S.  Radhakrishnan  pronounced

reportable judgment of the  Bench  comprising  His  Lordship  and

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dipak Misra.

 

In terms of  signed  reportable  judgment,  the  writ

petition is disposed of.

 

 

 

 

|(A.D. Sharma)                        | |(Renuka Sadana)                      |

|Court Master                         | |Court Master                         |

 

 

(Signed reportable judgment is placed on the file)

 

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