IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 631 OF 2004
Environment & Consumer Protection Foundation .. Petitioner
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
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
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
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
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:
2. Tamil Nadu
7. Jammu and Kashmir
8. Madhya Pradesh
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
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,
a) examine and review the safeguards for rights provided by or
under this Act and recommend measures for their effective
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
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.
(K. S. RADHAKRISHNAN)
October 3, 2012
ITEM NO.1C COURT NO.11 SECTION PIL
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)
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)