SC Stays HC Verdict Asking Schools To Provide Gadgets, Internet To Poor Students

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed Delhi High Court’s verdict directing private unaided and government schools to provide gadgets and internet packages for students from economically weaker section (EWS) or disadvantaged group to pursue online classes during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Delhi government had challenged the high court judgement which was passed on September 18, 2020.

The high court division bench had ruled that gadgets and internet package are not part of tuition fee and will have to be provided free of cost to students from weaker sections, subject to the right of private unaided schools to claim reimbursement from the state in accordance with provision of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Hearing the plea on Wednesday, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde ruled that there shall be stay of operation of the impugned order of the high court, The Indian Express reported.

The apex court bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, issued notice to the NGO ‘Justice for All’, on whose petition the high court had delivered the judgement.

Advocate Vikas Singh, who appeared for the Delhi government, argued that the high court verdict had put additional burden on the state which was already spending a lot of money on education post pandemic.

The SC bench observed that the apex court had delivered a verdict on a similar issue earlier in a Himachal Pradesh case, and asked Singh to place that judgement before it.

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