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Delhi HC sends notices to Central, Delhi govt over BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay’s PIL seeking to bring Madrasas, Vedic Pathshalas under ambit of RTE

BJP leader Upadhyay has argued that after the Muslim Personal Law Board members met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in 2012, Madrasas were removed from the ambit of RTE.

On February 22, on notice has been sent by the Delhi High Court to the Central Government and Delhi state government over a PIL questioning certain provisions of the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009. The Public Intrest Litigation was filed in the High Court which demanded Madrasas, Vedic Pathshalas and other institutions imparting religious education to be brought under the fold of the RTE.

The petition moved by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay challenged sections 1(4) and 1(5) of the Right to Education Act stating they deprive educational excellence to Madarsas, Vedic Pathshalas and educational institutions imparting religious instructions in the country. In the petition, the relevant sections have been challenged with Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 21A of the Constitution stating them as ‘arbitrarily irrational’ and ‘violative of the principles of the Constitution.

“The hallmark of the compulsory education system is syllabus and curriculum which must be equally and uniformly applied across the board, so as to ensure conditions, in which each child are placed on an equal playing field, competent to take on the challenges of real-world and empowered to avail the opportunities which life offers in its myriad circumstances, equally,” stated the petition to the Delhi HC. The plea also stressed that the RTE should not be restricted to ensuring only free and compulsory education, but must be extended to equal quality education without discrimination on the social-economic religious-cultural background.

The plea demanded a common syllabus and curriculum for all the children while stating, “Compulsory education which mandates every child to attend school but lacks in providing an effective common curriculum is worse than providing no education at all.”

With a view to achieving common and compulsory education up to 14 years of age, the plea stated that the changes in RTE would achieve a “code of common culture, removal of disparity and depletion of discriminatory values in human relations”. “It would also enhance virtues and improve quality of life, elevate the thoughts, which advance constitutional philosophy of equal society” the plea added.

BJP leader Upadhyay has argued that after the Muslim Personal Law Board members met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in 2012, Madrasas were removed from the ambit of RTE. “To showcase their so-called secular credentials, Gurukuls and Vedic Schools were also removed alongside Madrasas under the umbrella of RTE. Today a situation has evolved where the government is unaware of what has been taught in the Madarsas because they don’t fall under the law,” he added while posting a video on Twitter.

The petition by Ashwini Upadhyay was moved to the Delhi High Court after his plea in the Supreme Court was refused to be heard. While the Supreme Court refused to comment on the merits of the case, The Delhi High Court has listed the matter for hearing on March 30, 2022. Meanwhile, The Two-member bench of Justice Jyoti Singh and Justice DN Patel is seeking responses from all respondents while sending notices to the Central Government and Government of NCT of Delhi with respect to the same.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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