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Court stays education rules

The high court on Monday passed an interim order restraining the education department from giving effect to certain sections of the West Bengal Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2012, which ban schools run by private individuals.

Justice Debasish Kargupta passed the order following petitions by at least 60 schools run by private individuals, challenging two government notices asking the institutions to be run by societies or trusts.

Under the Centre’s Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, all children are entitled to free education till Class VIII.

Since education is on the concurrent list, the Bengal government had to frame the West Bengal Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules to implement the law.

“If a rule framed by a state government under a central law is in conflict with the law, provisions in the central legislation will prevail,” Srijan Nayek, who appeared for the petitioner schools submitted before the bench.

“The central law does not have any provision under which an individual-run school can be asked to be run by a society or trust. But the state, through its notification on May 5 and June 21 issued under the new rules, had asked 50,000-odd schools run by private individuals to submit applications by July 31 for approval. The forms stated they would have to be signed by the chairpersons of the committees running the schools,” the lawyer added.

He submitted that the relevant rule be declared illegal as it was in conflict with the act under which it had been framed.