The Right To Education (RTE) Act will not be applicable to the aided or unaided minority schools, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. Though RTE Act is constitutionally valid, such schools can not be obligated to reserve 25 percent seats for the students from socially and economically weaker sections of the society, the apex court said in its order on Tuesday.
The constitution bench of Chief Justice R. M. Lodha, Justice A. K. Patnaik, Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla also upheld the reservation for scheduled castes/tribes and other backward classes for admissions in educational institutions, IANS reported.
Upholding the validity of the RTE Act and reservation of SC/ST and OBCs in educational institutions, the court said: “We hold that the Constitution (Ninety-Third Amendment) Act, 2005 inserting Clause (5) of Article 15 of the Constitution and the Constitution (Eighty-Sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 inserting Article 21A of the Constitution do not alter the basic structure or framework of the Constitution and are constitutionally valid.”
Holding that the RTE Act is not ultra vires Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, the court said: “We, however, hold that the 2009 Act insofar as it applies to minority schools, aided or unaided, covered under clause (1) of Article 30 of the Constitution A is ultra vires the Constitution.”
“We accordingly hold that none of the rights under articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution have been abrogated by Clause (5) of Article 15 of the Constitution and we hold that the (Ninety-third Amendment) Act, 2005 of the Constitution inserting clause (5) of Article 15A of the Constitution is valid,” the court said.
The apex court verdict came in response to the reference made by a three judge bench of this court by order of September 6, 2010 in Society for Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan versus Union of India.