Child’s Education Should Not Be Affected Due To Family’s Condition: Court

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Depriving a child of education due to family circumstances should not be allowed as an educated kid becomes an asset to the nation, the Delhi High Court has observed while holding that no minor should suffer on the education front due to parents being in jail.
The remarks were made by the high court which during the hearing of a bail plea took a suo motu cognisance to facilitate the admission of a minor girl to a school as her parents are in judicial custody for their alleged involvement in the murder of an old woman whose body parts were severed and disposed of in a drain.

It directed the SHO concerned to get the child admitted to the school adjacent to the senior branch of the school in which her elder sibling is studying and asked the principal to extend full cooperation for the admission.

“In my opinion, education is the first step towards tackling social evils, especially poverty, inequality, and discrimination. Every child, irrespective of caste, religion, sex, or economic background has been guaranteed the right to education. An educated individual can make informed decisions, first for themselves, and then be able to contribute constructively towards the progress of the nation and society at large,” Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma said.

The high court, in its order, also observed that once it comes to the notice of the court that a child or an individual is deprived of a fundamental right, the courts have to ensure that the fundamental right is enforced and there is no impediment for any individual to enjoy the same.

“Right to Education is a fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen under Article 21 A of the Constitution. A child must not suffer the consequences, on account of their parents having been in judicial custody for a crime which is yet to be adjudicated upon by the court. This court is duty bound to enforce fundamental rights of every citizen and in this case the right to education of the child,” it said.

The child’s mother sought interim bail as she needed to come out of jail to get her eight-year-old daughter admitted to a school in Delhi.

The woman, whose interim bail plea was earlier rejected by a trial court, informed the high court that her elder daughter was studying in a municipal school in Delhi and her younger daughter be also admitted there in nursery class.

The high court was informed by the investigating officer of the case that as per the school principal, the child’s admission can be done if she has a certificate bearing her date of birth from any government institution and any local guardian of the minor can also get her admitted in the school.

The high court said that the child is an individual Indian citizen who enjoys her fundamental rights and the right to education is one of them.

“In the present unpleasant situation of the case, the court has to become the voice of the voiceless child. The parents are in judicial custody and the prime concern of the parents is the education of the child.

“It is not only in cases dealing with family disputes that the rights and welfare of the child should be considered but also in the cases as the present one, the courts can become and act as the parent of the child and ensure that the child is not deprived of its fundamental right to education.

“Depriving any child of education due to family circumstances should not be allowed to every extent possible. An educated child educates the entire family and becomes an asset to the nation,” the high court said.

It said that in the present case, where the right to education of a child is at stake, it is imperative that the court intervenes timely and upholds the right envisaged in the Constitution to protect the future of the child.

It said that the child must get admitted to a school at the earliest so that the “shadow of no unpleasant happening falls upon the child’s life to darken her future” and took suo motu cognisance to facilitate the child’s admission to a school so that the child does not lose out on the current academic year 2022-23.

The high court called for a compliance report within 10 days and said that the girl’s identity is not being mentioned in this order to protect her privacy and dignity.

As the woman was seeking interim bail to fulfil her responsibilities as a parent and get her child admitted to school, she expressed satisfaction over the high court’s order and withdrew her plea.

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