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SC Issues Notice On RTE Act To Unaided Colleges

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Unaided Colleges Receives Notice From SC
The Supreme court has issued notice to the central government on a petition seeking exemption for unaided educational institutions from earmarking 25% seats for students from the weaker sections of the society.

These are Unaided minority educational institutions which are exempted from doing so under the Right to Education Act, 2009, which calls for reserving 25% seats for socially and economically backward sections of the society. The court contended that Article 15(15) was ultra virus of the basic structure of the constitution as it discriminated between two similarity placed category of educational institutions on the basics of their minority and non-minority status.

The court was told that the Article 145(3) of the constitution provides that a bench of at-least five judges could only hear a case involving the substantial question of law and the interpretation of the constitutional provisions or for hearing any presidential reference.

On uploading the constitutional validity of Section 12 (1)(C) of the RTE Act, the majority judgement that was pronounced by chief justice Kapadia (Since retired) had exempted the unaided minority educational institutions from earmarking 25% seats for students from socially and economically weaker sections of society but same exemption was held back from non-minority unaided institutions.

However,, Justice KS Radhakrishnan, in a separate judgment, had held that the mandate under RTE Act 2009, providing for reservation of seats was not constitutionally valid, thus none of the unaided schools, be it majority or minority, could be compelled to enmark 25% seats in their institutions for weaker sections.

Justice Radhakrishnan read down the Section 12(1)(C) of the RTE Act 2009, in respect of the unaided non-minority and minority institutions holding that it can be given effect to "Only on the principles of Volunteerism, autonomy and consensus and not on compulsion or treat of non-registration or-non-affiliation".

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