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Court blow for kid

The high court on Monday said the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 was not applicable in the case of Srijan Banerjee, a Class IV student of La Martiniere for Boys, who was denied promotion on March 29.

Justice Aniruddha Bose refused to grant an interim order sought by Partha Pratim Banerjee, Srijan’s father, and asked the school to co-operate in handing over a transfer certificate and marksheet to the student. This was the second time the boy was held back in the same class.

A legal expert explained that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 came into force on April 1, 2010 while the school had taken the decision of not promoting the boy on March 29, 2010. “Hence the school is not bound by the act in this case,” he added.

“My son’s position has not changed. The court has only considered the fact that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 had come into effect from April 1, 2010. I think they should also consider the blackmailing of parents, the associated mental torture on them and their wards along with extortion that is going on in the name of education,” said Banerjee.

He had also filed a police complaint against Sanjay Smart, one of his son’s schoolteachers, accusing him of demanding a laptop to promote his son. The teacher was arrested on May 17.

Banerjee’s lawyer Soumya Majumdar said: “We had sought the interim order so that Srijan could attend classes. But the court has rejected the plea.”

Supriyo Dhar, the secretary (officiating) of La Martiniere School for Boys, told Metro the school was ready with Srijan’s documents.

The school also pleaded before the court saying that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 was not applicable to it as it was a minority institution. Both the judge and the additional solicitor-general, Farroque Razzak, said they would talk to the central government in this regard since it was a central act. The matter will be next heard on September 3.

Banerjee had filed a writ petition in the high court accusing the school of violating the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009. The Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, the state government, the school principal and some teachers had been made party to the case. The act prohibits schools from detaining students till Class VIII.

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