The Supreme Court on Tuesday has sought a response from the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government regarding a plea that challenged the mandating of 25 per cent reservations for children from weaker backgrounds in nursery classes.
The plea, filed by NGO Independent Schools Federation of India, said that states were forcing private schools to admit children under six years in age despite there being no constitutional obligation to do so. It pointed out that the court had validated the reservation for children aged between 6 and 14.
The bench, comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar, issued notice to the governments to give an answer within four weeks.
“Any such extension of reservation to children below the age of 6 years would re-open challenge to such 25 per cent reservation as there is no such constitutional obligation under Article 21-A of Constitution,” said the NGO’s advocate, Ravi Prakash Gupta.
The petitioner has also challenged other provisions of the Right to Education which could declare any group of children as a weaker class. The PIL challenged the benefit given by the RTE to declare any group of persons as a ‘disadvantaged group’, saying it was not permitted by the Constitution and the act is prone to abuse. It added that this power given to states in this regard is “unconstitutional”.