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Pil on schools closure 3.12.2011 Karnataka


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PIL against Closure of government schools in Karnataka. Text.

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  • 1. 1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BANGALORE (ORIGINAL JURISDICTION) W.P.No. /2011 (PIL)BETWEEN:(1) Rashtrakavi Dr.G.S. Shivarudrappa, M.A, Ph.D S/o Guggeri Shantaveerappa, Poet & Literary Critic, Aged about 74 Years, Professor & Director (Retired), Centre of Kannada Studies, Bangalore University, Bangalore.(2) Padmabhushan Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy, S/o.Udupi Rajagopala Acharya, Aged about 79 years, Retired Professor of Indian Literature in IGNOU, Recipient of Jnanpeetha Award (1994), Former Vice Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Former Chairman, National Book Trust, New Delhi, and Former President Kendra Sahitya Academy, New Delhi R/a. #498, 6th A Main, RMV 2nd Stage, Bangalore.-560094.(3) Padmabhushan Dr. Girish Karnad, S/o Raghunath Karnad, Age: 79 years, Recipient of Jnanapeetha Award (1999) R/a No 697,15th Cross, JP Nagar,2nd Stage, Bangalore - 560078(4) Padmabhushan Dr. Chandrashekar B. Kambar, Age: 74 years, Founder Vice Chancellor, Kannada University, Hampi, Recipient of Jnanapeetha Award (2010),
  • 2. 2 Former Chairman, National School of Drama Society, New Delhi and Karnataka Cricket Academy and Former Member of Legislative Council, R/a, “Siri Sampige”,No.44,1st Main, 4th Block,BSK 3rd Stage, Bangalore-560085. …..PetitionersAnd :(1) The Commissioner for Public, Instructions in Karnataka, New Public Office, K.R.Circle,Bangalore-560001(2) State of Karnataka Rep. Secretary, Department of Primary and Secondary School Education, M.S.Buildings,Bangalore-560001. ….Respondents MEMORANDUM OF WRIT PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA The above named Petitioners state as follows:1. In this Public Interest Litigation to enforce The FundamentalRight to education guaranteed under Article 21A of the Constitution, thepetitioners are seeking a writ of mandamus to the respondents toimplement the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act,2009,while questioning the legality and validity of circular dated24/09/2011 bearing No.ADM2(2)SA.SHA.VILEENA:1:2011-12,Annexure-A, Circular dated 29/09/2011 bearing No.ADM2(2)SA.SHA.VILEENA:1:2011-12, Annexure-B resulting in closure of 3073Government run Lower Primary Schools and 101 Government HigherPrimary Schools.
  • 3. 32. All the four petitioners are very well known Kannada Literaryfigures. The first of them has been crowned as the Rashtrakavi which isa rare distinction. The other three petitioners have been conferred withthe highest Literary Award in the country namely, Jnanapeetha Award.The last three petitioners are also conferred with the PadmabhushanAward by the President of India. The petitioners seek leave of thisHon‟ble Court to present a more detailed credentials of all the fourpetitioners at the time of hearing.3. The petitioners have been waging a relentless battle to provideRight to Education in mother tongue to all the children of Karnataka. Inearly 1980s Karnataka witnessed an epoke making movement popularlyknown as `Gokak Movement‟. The petitioners were instrumental inorganising and leading the said movement in order to provide universaleducation to all children in Kannada medium. This movement lead toframing of very healthy education policy promoting mother tongue asthe medium of instructions in the neighbourhood schools. Thepetitioners have preferred this writ petition as a public interest litigationon behalf of millions of children who are going to be deprived theirfundamental Right to Education in neighbourhood schools. Thepetitioners are aggrieved by the respondents‟ failure to enforce thefundamental Right to Education while allowing mushrooming of Englishmedium schools in the private sector by directing closure of thousands ofGovernment Kannada Primary and Secondary Schools in the State. Facts of the Case:4. Education is the bedrock for an egalitarian Society. It is thefoundation stone on which democracy succeeds. Therefore, it is very
  • 4. 4important that primary education is provided to every children and thateducation shall be of one standard, one syllabus and one value. Dr.Rammanohar Lohia, a great a political ideologue and a socialist leaderonce said, “All primary schools in socialist India shall be run by Municipalities and District boards and all fancy schools shall be closed down… That nation which gives rise to such wide gulfs in education is fated to break up; such education must further deepen and split the crevices within the nation. All the people must be pulled up by however slow degrees; all school going children must go to common schools.”Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen said “To say that India does not havemoney for education (and health care) is absolute, utter unmitigatednonsense”.Mahatma Gandhi said : “I will give you a talisman, Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him… Will it restore him to a control over, his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj (freedom) for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and our self melt away”
  • 5. 55. State sponsored free and compulsory education was one of themajor demands even during the freedom struggle. Mahatma JyotibaPhule had demanded such education in the 19th century itself whilearguing and providing evidence before the Education Commission,popularly known as William Hunter Commission, 1882. He andDadabhai Navroji demanded state sponsored free and compulsoryeducation for all children. During the later stage of freedom struggle, thedemand for the Right to Education gained momentum across the nation.Education which was the central subject in the beginning of theConstitution was transferred to the provinces so as to ensuredecentralisation after the failure of diarchy. Particularly after realisingthe importance of education and having seen educational qualification asrequirement for voting and contesting elections under the Government ofIndia Act,1935 several important developments took place demandingfree and compulsory education. Education and freedom movementhelped to move towards eradication of backwardness. It is important tonote that the demand for free and compulsory education was the productof the freedom struggle.6. During the framing of the Constitution, free and compulsoryeducation was upper most in the minds of the founding fathers .Severalprovisions came to be incorporated guaranteeing right to education, theimportance of right to education was such that the constitution put a timelimit to achieving this target within a period of 10 years after theConstitution came into force. Under Art 41, the State was required tomake effective provisions for securing the right to education, under Art45 within a period of 10 years, the Government was required to providefree and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14 years.
  • 6. 6Simultaneously, it was mandate under Art.24 of the Constitution,prohibiting employment of the children up to the age of 14 years in anyfactory or mine or in any other hazardous employment.7. The founding fathers deliberated a great deal to incorporatenecessary provisions in the Constitution guaranteeing right to educationto every child. While prohibiting child labour they wanted to ensure thatthe child shall be kept in an educational institution till the age of 14years. It is for this reason that right to education is not restricted toprimary education. While dealing with the amendment proposed to thedraft Article 36, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar had this to say: “Sir, I accept the amendment proposed by my friend, Mr.Maitra, which suggests the deletion of the words “every citizen is entitled to free primary education and”. But I am not prepared to accept the amendment of my friend, Mr.Naziruddin Ahmad. He seems to think that the objective of the rest of the clause in Art 36 is restricted to free primary education. But that is not so. The clause as it stands after the amendment is that every child shall be kept in an educational institution under training until the child is of 14 years. If my hon’ble Friend, Mr.Naziruddin Ahmad had referred to Article 18, which forms part of the fundamental rights ,he would have noticed that a provision is made in article 18 to forbid any child being employed below the age of 14.Obviously,if the child is not to be employed below the age of 14,the child must be kept occupied in some educational institution. That is the object of article 36, and
  • 7. 7 that is why I say the word “primary” is quite inappropriate in that particular clause, and I therefore oppose his amendment.” (Constituent Assembly Debates, Volume 7,Page.540, Para 2.)8. In the year 1951, the Secondary School Commission wasconstituted to prepare the text books and common syllabus for allstudents. The report on the National Education Policy for all students.The report on the National Education Policy (Kothari Commission 1966)provided for common syllabus suggesting that public funded schools beopened for all children irrespective of caste, creed, community, religion ,condition of social status. Quality education should be made accessibleto all children – rich and poor. Tuition fee should not be charged for anychild. These recommendations of Kothari Commission were reiteratedby the Yashpal Committee in the year 1991. Judicial Contribution9. The Contribution of an Indian judiciary to promote right toeducation is very important factor in shaping the right to education inIndia. The Constitution had not initially enumerated right to education asa fundamental right even then the Indian judiciary always considered theright to education as an important right. This aspect was highlighted inRe Kerala Education Bill, AIR 1958 SC 956.The Delhi High Courtdeclared right to education as a fundamental right in Anand VardhanChandal V. Delhi University, AIR 1978 Del 308.The Supreme Courttreated right to education as a fundamental right in Mohini Jain V. Stateof Karnataka,1992 (3) SCC 666, Unnikrishnan J.P V. State of AndhraPradesh,1993 (1) SCC 645 and T.M.A.Pai Foundation V. State of
  • 8. 8Karnataka,2002 (8) SCC 481.It is in the light of these pronouncementsthat right to education is a fundamental right .The Parliament alsothought it fit to specifically incorporate right to education as afundamental right. Accordingly, the Parliament amended theConstitution by inserting Art 21 A, by the Constitution (86 thAmendment, 2002).It was declared that “….nothing provokes andstimulates thought and expression in people more than education. Impugned Action10. In order to implement the said fundamental right, the Parliamenthas enacted the right of children to Free and Compulsory Education Act,2009 which has come into force with effect from 1.4.2010.In order toimplement the act and make right to education a meaningfulfundamental right, the government of India have taken all necessarysteps including providing resources for implementation of the provisionsof the Act. However, the respondents herein have totally ignored themandate of the constitution as also the provisions of the said act. The acthas not been implemented so far by the government of Karnataka. Eventhe rules contemplated under Section 38 have not been framed. On thecontrary in total negation of the same, the respondent have now issuedthe offending orders. By the OM (Annexure A) 590 Lower Primaryschools and 27 Higher Primary schools have been directed to be closeddown by shifting the students and the teachers to other schools. It isfurther directed by this OM that every academic year steps should betaken to close down all schools where enrolment is below 5 students andsteps in accordance with the OM be taken to transfer the student and theteachers to other schools. Circular dated 24.09.2011 (Annexure B) isanother direction to initiate steps to close down 2483 Lower Primary
  • 9. 9schools and 74 Higher Primary schools. Wherever it is found that it isfound that the no. of students in a school is less than 10 proposals totransfer such students to nearby schools are directed to be prepared andsubmitted. It is further directed that from the next academic year thestudent shall be admitted to only such schools to which the student hadbeen transferred during the current academic year. This process isdirected to be initiated in the month of November and completed beforeDecember and all necessary steps to be taken by the end of 15th ofFebruary to close down the schools and to transfer the students to otherschools. Aggrieved by these actions, the petitioners have approached thisHonourable Court with this Public Interest Litigation.11. The petitioners have not filed any other writ petition seekingsimilar reliefs.12. As the petitioners have no other alternative and efficaciousremedy, they have approached this Hon‟ble Court under Article 226 ofThe Constitution of India on the following grounds. GROUNDS13. Article 21-A of the Constitution of India states as follows : “21A. Right to Education – The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine”.In order to strengthen the social fabric of democracy and provide equalopportunity to all and to achieve role of universal elementary education
  • 10. 10the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 hasbeen enacted so that the values of equality, social justice and democracyand the creation of a just and humane society be achieved throughprovision for inclusive elementary education to all. Under section 3 ofthe Act, the fundamental Right to Education is guaranteed to every childin neighbourhood school till completion of elementary education.Section 4 of the Act ensures that those children who are not in Schoolshould be admitted in a class appropriate to his or her age. Section 6 ofthe Act provides that the appropriate Government or Local Authority isunder a duty to establish a neighbourhood, if not already established.Under Section 8 of the Act, the appropriate Government shall providefree and compulsory elementary education to every child and ensureavailability of neighbourhood school as specified in Section 6 of theAct.14. In the light of the provisions of Article 21A read with the aboveprovisions of the Act, it is the duty of the respondents herein toguarantee to every child the fundamental right to free and compulsoryeducation in a neighbourhood school till the age of 14 years. In thatview of the matter, it was of utmost importance that the respondentsframe the rules under section 38 of the Act and implement the provisionsof the Act in toto and open neighbourhood schools, where there arenone, without any delay. In the circumstances, failure to do so is a clear,wilful and wrongful refusal to perform the duties cast on the respondentsand it is therefore just and necessary to issue a Writ of Mandamus toimplement Article 21A and the aforementioned Act after framing theRules in the interest of justice and equity.
  • 11. 1115. The actions of the respondents in directing the closure of 590Lower Primary schools and 27 Higher Primary schools under AnnexureA and to further initiate steps to close down 2483 Lower Primaryschools and 74 higher primary schools as per Annexure B are whollywithout authority of law and unsustainable for the following reasons : (a) The said action is arbitrary, capricious and whimsical and is violative of rights of children of Karnataka guaranteed under Article 21A read with Article 14, 15 and 21. (b) The fundamental Right to Education is guaranteed to every child. It is wholly impermissible to compel the child to travel a distance of 6 Kms(six kilometres) and above in order to access the school. While it is the duty of the respondents to open neighbourhood schools, it is not open to them to deny even the existing opportunities by closing neighbourhood School, on the pretext of lower enrolment of students. Since the right is guaranteed to every child even if there are only handful of students in a school it is the duty of the respondents not to close down the schools. The reasons given under Annexure A and B for closure of Schools is irrelevant and is extraneous to the concept of Right to Education guaranteed to every child in neighbourhood School. The impugned action of the respondents is therefore violative of
  • 12. 12 rights guaranteed to the children under Article 14 and 15(1) and Article 21A of the Constitution of India and hence unsustainable.(c) Under the Act every child has the right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school under Section 3 read with section 6, 8 and 9. Further, in view of the mandate of Section 19 and 25 every such School should be provided with two teachers. In that view of the matter, it is wholly impermissible to close down the schools.(d) The impugned order is said to have been issued in the interest of quality education and to strengthen the Schools in which the neighbourhood schools are merged. This is wholly extraneous to the power, functions and responsibilities cast on the respondents under the aforesaid provisions. If the number of students is small that will in no any way bring down the standard of education. On the contrary lower the number higher will be the attention paid by the teacher to each and every student. This will so as to personally ensure the learning and welfare of the child. Teachers will be in a position to give greater personal attention to individually develop the personality of a child and also give quality time to each child. Therefore, dwindling of the number of students will in no
  • 13. 13 way bring down the standard of education and hence the said ground is an irrelevant ground. Likewise strengthening the other School to which the neighbourhood school is merged also cannot be the reason to close down any neighbourhood School. It is the duty of the respondents to strengthen all the existing neighbourhood schools and to ensure that they are maintained and administered efficiently. Their only duty is to open neighbourhood school where there are no such schools in the neighbourhood and under no circumstances can an existing neighbourhood school could be closed down.16. Under Article 243(a) of the Constitution, it is the duty of the Stateto endow the Panchayats with such powers and authority as may benecessary to enable them to function as institutions of the selfgovernment. Such laws should provide for devolution of powers andresponsibilities upon the Panchayat with respect to preparation of planfor economic development and social justice and implementation of theschemes for economic development and social justice in relation tomatters listed in the XIth Schedule. Accordingly, under Entry 17education including primary and secondary schools is entrusted toPanchayat under the XIth Schedule. In obedience to the saidconstitutional mandate the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, 1993 has madeelaborate provisions to entrust the entire matter of primary andsecondary education to the Panchayat. Under sub-section (1A) ofSection 58 it is the obligatory function of the Gram Panchayats to make
  • 14. 14reasonable provisions within every Panchayat area to ensure universalenrolment of children in primary school. Under Schedule I of the saidAct at Entry XIII education – including primary and secondary schools,is specifically enumerated as obligatory function of every GramPanchayat. It is the duty of the Panchayat to permit public aware nessand ensure participation in primary and secondary education and furtherensure full enrolment and attendance in primary schools. Likewiseunder Schedule II Entry XIV read with Section 145 casts a similarburden on the Taluk Panchayat. Schedule III Entry XV read withSection 184 have imposed a similar duty on Zilla Panchayat. Thisobligatory function of the Panchayat is carried further by the mandate ofthe Right to Education Act, 2009. Under section 9 thereof, every localauthority shall provide free and compulsory elementary education toevery child. It shall ensure availability of neighbourhood school andfurther ensure that the child belonging to weaker section and the childbelonging to disadvantaged group are not discriminated against andprevented from pursuing and completing elementary education on anyground. It is also the duty of the Local Authority to maintain records ofchildren residing within its jurisdiction and to ensure and monitoradmission, attendance and completion of elementary education residingwithin its jurisdiction. It is also its duty to provide infrastructureincluding school building, teaching staff and learning materials besidesproviding special training as required under section 4 of the Act andalso ensure good quality elementary education conforming to thestandards and norms specified in the Schedule. Even where there aremigrant families it should ensure the admission of their children. In thatview of the matter, since it is the fundamental duty of every Panchayat toprovide for a neighbourhood school, to maintain them and to ensureattendance in such schools, the respondents have no manner of right or
  • 15. 15authority whatsoever to interfere with the establishment andadministration of such schools in the light of the aforesaid provisions.Hence the impugned actions are wholly without authority of law.17. Moreover under the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, it is onceagain the duty of the respondents to enforce compulsory primaryeducation. Under sections 11 and 12 they can command the LocalAuthority to take necessary steps in that direction. Under Section 13,Attendance Authorities are to be appointed and further to appoint asmany persons as are considered necessary to assist the AttendanceAuthorities. It is the duty of the Local Authority and the AttendanceAuthority to prepare as early as possible the list of children in a specifiedarea and it shall be the duty of the Attendance Authority to ensure theattendance of the child in the manner provided for under the saidprovision. Under section 37 of the Act, an Expert Body is required to beconstituted in the matter of making provisions for educational facilities.Further under section 109 a State Education Council is required to beconstituted for the purpose of advising the Government on matterspertaining to educational policies and programmes. Under section 110there shall be a Standing Committee of such educational AdvisoryCommittee for each of the department including Department of PublicInstruction. Under section 111 a separate Advisory Committee forprimary and secondary education may also be constituted. Strangely nosuch Advisory Committee or Advisory Body has advised therespondents to close any school in the manner it is now sought to bedone as per Annexure A and B. As a matter of fact SABE has not evenheld a single meeting much less has it framed any policy. In thecircumstances, the respondents have unilaterally embarked upon thisdisastrous course thereby doing the greatest damage to the most
  • 16. 16vulnerable sections of the Society by denying neighbourhood schools.The same is arbitrary and unsustainable besides being without authorityof law.18. Prior to the Education Act, the establishment and administrationof school was governed by Grant-in-Aid Code and the said Code hasmade elaborate provisions providing for starting new schools. UnderRule 10 it was specifically provided that a new primary school shallordinarily be started by the Government. Under Rule 11 one of thefundamental requirements to sanction opening of a private School was toensure that there is need for such an institution in the locality withoutinvolving any unhealthy competition in the locality with the existinginstitution of the same category in the neighbourhood. The main criteriafor starting an institution shall be the educational requirement of thelocality. This being the basic limitation for permitting any new privateschool to be opened, the respondents have indiscriminately and in utterviolation of the above Rules allowed the mushrooming of the privateeducational institutions in every locality. In violation of all canons oflaw freely the education sector has been privatised and now in order tohelp such private Schools the impugned action has been taken. As amatter of fact even now the Respondents are encouraging opening ofnew English medium private schools. On 24.9.2011, simultaneouslywith the closing of the Kannada schools under Annexure A and B, theRespondents have unveiled a new policy to open English mediumprivate schools. A copy of the circular issued in that behalf as producedhere with and marked as Annexure C.19. The dwindling of number of students is only a ruse and acamouflage to aid private educational institutions. In view of the fact
  • 17. 17that Right to Education is a fundamental right and in view of the fact thatthis casts a fundamental duty on the respondents to provide for suchright it is not open for them to close down the existing Schools on anyground whatsoever. On the contrary they should take steps to preventopening and running of private schools to strengthen theneighbourhood schools. Hence, the impugned action is a fraud onpower and is malafide action taken by the respondents solely with theobject of commercialisation and privatisation of the primary educationand hence violative of the rights guaranteed under Article 14, 15 and21A of the Constitution of India.20. It is also necessary to mention here that under Rule 17 of theGrant-in-Aid Code in all primary schools the medium of instructionsshall ordinarily be regional language or the mother tongue of the child.English medium schools or English medium sections in the existingprimary schools may be opened only with the previous permission of theDirectorate. Contrary to this mandate of the Rule, schools which areestablished to provide education in Kannada language are superistiuoslyallowed to use English as medium of instructions. From the inceptionchildren are taught in English medium in wholesale violation of the saidRule. Apart from the fact that the school which plays fraud will neverset a good example for the students studying in such school, the childrenwho are taught from the inception to practice deception and break thelaw from childhood will never honour rule of law in future.21. It is also necessary to mention here that where permission isgranted to open English medium schools under Rule 12, it can only befor the benefit of students whose mother tongue is English; studentswhose parents belong to All India Services, central services and are
  • 18. 18liable to be transferred from State to State; students belonging tomigratory group; students whose parents are employees of Banks, Firmsand other Business Concerns which have branches in more than oneState and the employees of which are liable to be transferred from Stateto State; students whose mother tongue is minority language for whichthere is no provision in the school in the locality. This requirement isnever adhered to or enforced. On the contrary schools which areestablished to provide education in Kannada medium have been freelyallowed by the respondents to be imparting education in English mediumwithout any valid permission. Under Rule 12 such instruction in Englishmedium is imparted not for the purpose contemplated under Rule 12 butto the students whose mother tongue is Kannada in wholesale violationof Education Act and the aforestated provisions of Grant-in-Aid Code.22. The Schools which are being closed down pursuant to theimpugned action of the respondents have been in existence for decades ifnot centuries. Behind each such School there is great struggle andcontribution of the local citizens in establishing that School. It isparticularly in areas dominated by the SC, ST and BT the schools arefacing closure. It is these sections which are statutorily recognised as„Disadvantageous Sections‟ which are required to be provided withneighbourhood schools to ensure that every child from thesecommunities is guaranteed the Right to Education. Since all thesesections are also socially and educationally most backward the impugnedact of closure will seriously jeopardise the advancement of ScheduledCastes , Scheduled Tribes and Backward Tribes and permanentlyprevent them from joining the main stream and reach a level playingfield. This is opposed to the very constitutional ethos and would bedestructive of the very heart and soul of the constitutional goal to
  • 19. 19establish an egalitarian society. Hence, the impugned action is liable tobe declared as unconstitutional, invalid and inoperative.23. In these circumstances, the impugned action of the respondents inclosing down the Kannada Government Lower Primary Schools andsecondary schools is a fraud on the Constitution, freely indulged in bythe respondents solely with the object of commercialising and privatisingeducation and to divest the State of its power to establish, administer andregulate such educational intuitions. Since this act is detrimental to theState and public interest it is sure to advance commercialisation ofeducation and promote private educational institutions, the entireexercise is malafide and is a fraud on power violating Articles 14 and 15(1) of the Constitution of India. Grounds in support of interim prayer24. Every child has a fundamental right to free and compulsoryeducation. The impugned action of the respondents is an affront to theConstitution and is a direct violation of the said fundamental rightguaranteed to every child in the State of Karnataka. Majority of theschools, if not all, which are going to be subjected to the act of closure,transfer of students and teachers under the impugned circulars for allschools located in the tribal areas which are populated by the ScheduledTribes or the hamlets which are the exclusive habitats of scheduledCastes. In the circumstances, driving a child at the tender age of 6 yearsto travel a distance of 6 Kilometres and ore to attend a school every dayis nothing but an at to take the child out of the school which is prohibitedunder the new dispensation brought above by making the Right toEducation a fundamental right. Thousands of children who are going to
  • 20. 20be affected will exclusively come from the lowest strata of the societyviz., the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and others coming belowthe poverty line. In this view of the matter, if the impugned circulars aregiven effect to, it will jeopardise the right to education of these childrenand produce generations of illiterate uneducated people coming fromthese neglected margins of the sections of the society. The injuryinflicted on such a vast human sea by denying them education cannot becompensated in terms of money. The institutions which are going to becovered by the two impugned circulars are institutions which have beenin existence for several decades. The hasty action to close them willresult in an irreparable injury which cannot be compensated in terms ofmoney. It is therefore just and necessary to protect the interest of thisvast human sea of thousands of children coming form the lowest strataof the society from remote and inaccessible areas of Karnataka throughan interim order as prayed for, failing which, it will seriously jeopardisethe career of thousands of students and families in the State. PRAYER WHEREFORE, the petitioners respectfully pray that this Hon‟bleCourt be pleased to:(1) Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamusdirecting the Respondents to implement the Right of children to Free andCompulsory Education Act, 2009 (Central Act No.35 of 2009)(2) Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamusdirecting the Respondents to frame Rules for carrying out the provisionsof the aforesaid Act under Section 38 of the Act.
  • 21. 21(3) Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of certiorari quashingOfficial Memorandum dated 24.9.2011 bearing No.ADM2 (2)SA.SHA.VILENA:1:2011-12 (Annexure A) and Circular dated24.9.2011 bearing No.ADM2(2)SA.SHA.VILENA:1:2011-12(Annexure B).(4) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction in the nature ofmandamus directing the Respondents to take comprehensive measures tostrengthen the enrolment and attendance in the schools which arecovered under Annexures A and B, if necessary, by withdrawing thepermission granted to open private educational institutions which areenrolling students from the villages and areas where the aforementionedschools are located.(6) Direct the respondents to restore and reopen all GovernmentKannada Primary and Secondary Schools so far closed, merged orshifted after the Right to education was declared as a fundamental right.(7) Grant such other relief‟s as this Hon‟ble Court deems fit to in thefacts and circumstances of the case including an order as to costs in theinterest of justice and equity. Interim prayer Pending disposal of the above writ petition, the petitioners praythat this Hon‟ble Court be pleased to stay the Official Memorandumdated 24.9.2011 bearing No.ADM2(2)SA.SHA.VILENA:1:2011-12(Annexure A) and Circular dated 24.9.2011 bearing
  • 22. 22No.ADM2(2)SA.SHA.VILENA:1:2011-12 (Annexure B) and all furtherproceedings pursuant thereto in the interest of justice and equity.Bangalore,Date: 3.12.2011 Advocates for PetitionersAddress for service: :M/s Ravivarma Kumar Associates,Advocates44/1,Bharat Apartments,Fairfield Layout,Race course Road,Bangalore – 1.
  • 23. 23 Locas Standi(2.1) The first petitioner is a well-known literary critic and has beendecorated with the title of Rashtrakavi conferred by the Government ofKarnataka in the year 2007. He is a winner of Central Sahitya AcademyAward (National Award) and has been conferred honorary doctorates bythe University of Mysore, Kannada University, Kuvempu University andBangalore University.(2.2) The petitioner No.2 is an internationally renowned prominentwriter of the Navya Movement in Kannada Literature. He is regarded asone of the most important authors in India having studied English andliterature in Mysore and Barmingham where he had studied for Ph.D. Hehas been hailed as a Gandhian Socialist. He is a former Vice Chancellorof the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, Chairman of NationalBook Trust of India and President of the Central Sahitya Academy, NewDelhi. He was Professor in English literature in University of Mysore.He was a guest facility in several universities in Europe and USA. Hewas the Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India,Pune. He haspublished 5 novels, 1 play, volumes of short stories in Kannada andseveral literary stories published in English. He was honoured with thehighest literary Award Jnanapeetha Award in the year 1994.He wasdecorated by the Government of India with „Padmabhushan‟. His mostsignificant novel „Samskara‟ was filmed in the year 1970.(2.3) The Petitioner No.3 is a well known literary figure in Karnataka.He is a recipient of Jnanapeetha Award from Government ofIndia(1999) which is the country‟s highest literary Award. He is also arecipient of Kalidasa Sanman. He was decorated with Padmabhushan
  • 24. 24Award in 1992.He has been honoured doctorates by Universities ofKarnataka,Dharwad,Vidyasagar University, and University,Bhubaneshwar. He has served as member of jury of Indian FilmFestival,New Delhi and Lucknow. He is scripted and presented the filmBhagavad Geetha as part of the serious art that shook the world for BBC.He has acted in very famous film directed by Shyam Bengal, BasuChatterjee and Nagaraj as well as Satyajit Ray and Mrunal Sen. Hisfilm script for Bhumika one the National Award and „Goduli‟ FilmfareAward. The out standing actor in Kannada film industry, Shankarnagwho was introduced by him in „Ondanandu Kaladalli‟ won the BestActor Award at the International Film Festival, New Delhi. His film„Utsav‟ in Hindi and „Kanooru Heggadathi‟ in Kannada are verypopular. His first film Samskara for which he wrote the script and playedthe lead role went on to win the President Gold Medal for the bestfeature film of the year 1971.His next film „Vamsha Vruksha‟ which hewrote, directed and acted received the National Award in direction. Hisother film „Kaadu‟ won the President Silver Medal and Awards forindividual performance. The International Theatre Institute of UNESCO,Paris has nominated him as World Theatre Ambassador. His anotherplay won Sangeeta Natak Academy Award. His play „Nagamandala‟was premiered in United States of America in the Year 1993.His play„Bali‟ was premiered in UK. His other plays are Yagathi, Tuglak,Talanda, The Dreams, Tippu Sultan commissioned by the BBCRadio,1997. There was an Award for work in traditional theatre.Heserved as Director, Film and Television Institute of India,Pune andDirector of Nehru Centre as well as the Minister of Culture, HighCommission of India, London. He was at the University of Chicago asVisiting Professor and a Full Bright play right-in-residence. He wasChairman of Sangeeta Natak Academy and formerly Indian Co-
  • 25. 25chairman for the Joint Media Committee of the Indo-US sub-committeeon education and culture.(2.4) The petitioner no.4 is a natural poet and spontaneous poet ofnative wisdom; the folk art. The petitioner is a recipient of JnanapeethaAward(2010),Devraj Urs Award (2007), Pampa Prashathi(2004),KaviSanman (2004).He was decorated with Padmashree in the year 2001.Heis a well known Kannada poet and play writer. He is a recipient ofSangeeta Natak Academy Award(1983) and Central Sahitya AcademyAward in 1991.He is a former Member of Legislative Council, founderVice Chancellor of Kannada University. He was the Chairman ofNational School of Drama Society, New Delhi and Karnataka NatakaAcademy,Bangalore. His well known play „Joe Kumaraswamy‟ isawarded Kanakadevi Chottopadaya Award as the best play in India inthe year 1975.(3) The petitioners are aggrieved by the wrongful refusal to implementand enforce the fundamental right to Free and Compulsory Educationguaranteed to every child in the age group of 6 to 14 years. Even thoughthe right of Education to free and compulsory Education Act,2009(hereinafter referred to as „the Act‟) has been enacted, the respondentshave not even framed the necessary rules as contemplated under section38 of the said Act. On the contrary, the respondents are indulging in actsomissions militating against the mandate of the Constitution and the saidAct. They are not only honouring the right of children and notimplementing the Act, but are also going a step further even to deny theexisting facilities to impart education to the children of Karnataka. TheRespondents are making efforts to deny education to the neediestchildren of the State in remote and inaccessible areas on the pretext of
  • 26. 26low enrolment of children in the schools. Aggrieved by the same, thepetitioners have presented this writ petition on behalf of lakhs ofchildren so affected and millions of families whose children are deniededucation by closure of the neighbourhood schools on the pretext of lowenrolment.