Irked over the status report filed by the government's Directorate of Education (DoE), a bench of Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said "it's their right and you cannot take away their Right to Education under the law".
It is shocking to see that around 51,000 students between the age group of 6-14 are not getting free books and uniforms, the court said, adding that "if the education department cannot do it, then who will do it? "The figure here is really shocking. It means around 51,000 are without uniform and books. What is hapenning". You (government) do not want to give them free books, where will they go?. What will be their future? "What action have you taken to fill this gap? You have to supply them with books and uniform," the court said, while directing the Director DoE to provide them information related to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus and the books prescribed from class 1 to 8.
It has also directed the education department to inform them the exact cost incurred by them on books and uniforms. The court order came after Delhi government said in its affidavit filed yesterday that out of 70,000 children from poor and disadvantaged families, around 17,500 have been provided books free of cost in this academic year.
The affidavit prepared by Padmini Singla, Director DoE, had also stated that around 16,500 children have been provided uniforms free of cost. DoE had in its report said 1,092 private schools provided details. It had said children studying upto Class 8 in government schools were provided free textbooks and a fixed amount for uniforms.