September 24, 2021 12:01:29 am
In a stern warning to parents who seek fraudulent ways to admit their wards under Right to Education (RTE) reserved for children from economically weaker sections, an FIR was lodged against father of a child who was admitted under RTE allegedly using fake documents.
This is the first FIR lodged in Gujarat for fraud under the RTE Act since its implementation in the academic year 2013-’14.
The Ahmedabad City District Education Officer (DEO), however, refused to terminate the admission of the student who studies in Class 2 at Anand Niketan Satellite school. An FIR was lodged against the father on August 23 at the Satellite police station for cheating, for misuse of the Act. Police are investigating one more case in the same school.
The fraud came to light when school authorities noticed during online classes that the students were sitting in rooms equipped with air-conditioners, after which a preliminary inquiry was conducted, according to Nashy Chauhan, director of Anand Niketan Satellite school.
“It turned out that in two cases, fake beneficiaries had enrolled under the RTE Act,” Chauhan said.
As per the FIR registered under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 199 (false statement made by declaration) and 200 (using as true a declarating knowing it to be false), based on a complaint filed by an education inspector from the DEO office, the applicant submitted fake income certificates and information to the state government and got his child admitted under the RTE Act.
“The accused, a resident of Jivraj Park, submitted documents, including an annual income certificate of less than Rs 1.5 lakh through an online admission process for his daughter, while he has filed income tax returns of Rs 4.11 lakh,” the FIR states.
District Education Officer Hitendra Padheriya told The Indian Express, “The FIR is on the case of a student studying in Class 2. This case along with another was forwarded by the school to this office. While we had documentary evidence in this case on the basis of which an FIR has been registered, police are investigating the second case.”
However, the DEO said that the RTE Act provisions state that the admission cannot be terminated in middle of an academic session.
Due to such suspected cases, the education department has been revising rules from time to time to curb malpractices. After several complaints were received on fake rent agreements submitted by parents against owned houses to avail RTE benefits, the state government, in 2020-21, made it mandatory for rent agreement to be registered under Gujarat Stamp Act 1958 and submitted at the related police station.
Director of primary education, MI Joshi, told The Indian Express, “Though there were complaints in previous years of suspected cases, a formal complaint was never lodged. This is the first case where legal action has been initiated against a parent.”
Admissions under RTE are conducted by a central online admission system in Class 1 for 25 per cent reserved seats for parents with a family income of less than Rs 1.5 lakh.
A case, reported by The Indian Express August 2020, child of a real estate broker residing in a bungalow in the posh Thaltej area, who has two cars, was admitted at Udgam School for Children under RTE in 2019.
A probe revealed that he had submitted fake rent agreement at the time of application. When questioned by the school authorities, saying they would file a police complaint, he withdrew the admission.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.