February 11, 2021 1:50:18 am
The Supreme Court Wednesday stayed a Delhi High Court order asking private unaided schools and government schools like Kendriya Vidyalayas in the capital to supply free of cost gadgets/equipment as well as internet packages to students from economically weaker sections/ disadvantaged groups so they would have access to online learning. The schools were supposed to claim reimbursement from the Delhi government.
Issuing notice on a plea by the Delhi government challenging the direction, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said that “in the meantime, there shall be stay of operation of the impugned order of the High Court”.
Appearing for the Delhi government, senior advocate Vikas Singh told the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, that the state was already spending a lot on education and the HC order would put additional burden.
The September 18, 2020, order of the HC came on a plea by the NGO, Justice for All.
The HC had said: “Equality of status and opportunity is one of the cherished goals of Indian constitution. To separate the EWS/DG students from others in the same class due to non-availability of a gadget/device would generate a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the class that may affect their hearts and minds unlikely ever to be undone.”
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The court had also called for the constitution of a three-member committee within a week to frame a standard operating procedure for identification of gadgets/equipment as well as the internet package that would be required.
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