Maharashtra: Legal Battle Over RTE Quota Disrupts School Admissions Timeline Till June 13

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Mumbai, 6th June 2024: The commencement of the Right to Education (RTE) quota selections for students entering the first standard of unaided schools, initially set for June 7, has been delayed until June 13, as announced by the state on Wednesday. This decision comes in response to concerns raised by some schools, citing that they have already admitted regular students.

One private unaided school took the matter to the vacation bench of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday, stating that it had already admitted 63 students for the upcoming academic year. The school argued that the state’s notification to admit disadvantaged children from the neighboring area under the 25% mandate of the RTE Act would disrupt their admissions, hence requesting a stay. The school’s legal representative asserted that self-financed schools were exempt from the Act.

In response, the vacation bench, comprising Justices N R Borkar and Kamal Khata, directed the state lawyer to request the education department to postpone the selection process until June 13. This decision aligns with the pending matter before the regular high court bench, presided over by the Chief Justice, scheduled for hearing on June 12. The bench expressed concern that commencing the new process might disrupt admissions already granted.

The state’s additional government pleader, after consulting the department, informed the High Court that the selection process under RTE would require more time and couldn’t be completed within a day. Therefore, while the process may begin, final selections will not be announced until the court’s hearing on June 13.

On May 6, the High Court had stayed the state’s notification regarding the applicability of RTE to unaided schools situated where no aided or municipal schools exist within a kilometer radius.