Observing that a child's education should not be"martyred" in the war between parents and school management, the Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government to ensure a 12-year-old boy, who was expelled from a South Mumbai school, gets admission in any other school in the vicinity immediately.
A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Sonak had last week taken cognisance of a letter written to the high court by the father of the boy against HVB Global Academy School in Marine Lines in South Mumbai.
According to the child's father, his son was expelled from the school as he had questioned and objected to paying a sum of Rs 50,000 in cash to the school for purchase of uniform and other stationery items.
Senior counsel Prasad Dhakepalkar, appearing for the school, had, however told the court that the child was removed as his father refused to pay the school tution fee.
According to the school, in March 2015, the boy was admitted to the school with an admission fee of Rs 25000 and a tuition fee of Rs 85,000 for one term. In August when the school asked the parents to pay tuition fee for the next term, the father refused and said he had already paid the entire money, the school said.
"Despite the dispute the school permitted the child to appear for his final exams held in February this year and passed him. After that the school issued a school leaving certificate with a remark that the fees were not paid. The fees were as per the Fee Regulation Act," Dhakepalkar said.
The high court after hearing the arguments, said it would be in the best interest of the child that he does not have to go back to the same school as the same issue may crop up in the future.
"It will be in the interest of the child to be admitted to some other school in the vicinity. The child should not suffer. We want the boy to first get admitted to some other school. That is our primary concern. The larger issue of the war between the parents and school can be dealt with later. We do not want the child's education to be martyred in the larger cause," the high court said.
The bench directed government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani to see to it that the boy gets admission in any of the nearby schools.
"Take a list of schools the parents are also interested in. Explore the options and see to it that the child is admitted in one of the schools and starts attending classes from Monday," the court said.
Vagyani earlier told the court that the state education department has already issued directions to the principals of two schools in the vicinity to admit the boy in their school with immediate effect.
The court also asked the boy's father to not "misbehave" in the future with school management and principal and said, "You (father) cannot just go and abuse principals and teachers and level allegations against them. This is not the way."
The court posted the petition for further hearing on July 19 and said, "First let the boy get admitted to some school then we will go into the larger issue. There is a growing concern about allegations that schools are harassing children and expelling them.
"We will have to evolve a mechanism to put an end to this. We may ask the government to frame guidelines."