Madurai: The Madras high court on Monday refused to grant any relief on a plea which sought for a direction to the state to ensure that children with disabilities are admitted at schools under RTE Act. The court, which was was hearing a public interest litigation filed by K R Raja from Madurai district, asked the petitioner to focus on the aspect as to whether there has been any denial of admission and to pursue it in that angle. The petitioner had also sought for a direction to take action on the government, aided and private schools which have failed to admit students with disabilities under RTE Act and those which have failed to provide friendly campus for such children as per Section 16 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
A division bench of justices T S Sivagnanam and S Ananthi said that the petitioner through RTI, has come to know that in several districts, the number of students with disabilities in private schools is very low and in most cases it is nil. From the documents placed before the court by the petitioner, it shows that applications were not received from the differently abled children for admission.
The judges observed that though they appreciate the cause and the concern shown by the petitioner, they are unable to infer from the statistics provided in the petition that the schools are refusing to admit students with disabilities. The judges took note of the state’s submission that applications received from children who are orphans, affected with HIV, transgender, children of sanitary workers, children with disabilities are given admission first before starting random selection under RTE Act.