In a significant ruling, the Madras High Court has declared that the State government is obligated to bear the expenses of children belonging to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Disadvantaged Groups (DG) under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act. The court’s decision highlights the State’s responsibility to educate these students without imposing any financial burden.
Justice M Dhandapani, presiding over the case, emphasized that the State has a duty, as outlined in the Directive Principles of State Policy, to offer free and compulsory education to children from weaker sections and disadvantaged groups specified in the RTE Act. The court dismissed the argument presented by the State, stating that only tuition fees were mandated to be reimbursed.
Justice Dhandapani ruled that all educational expenses, including uniforms, textbooks, notebooks, and other necessary materials, are integral to the instruction provided under the Act. The case was brought before the court by a minor and his father, who sought a decision from the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. The juvenile had been admitted to a private school under the RTE Act but was denied the necessary materials due to financial constraints.