The constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act (RTE), which prescribes 25% chunk of all school seats for the poor, has been upheld by the Supreme Court. However, the Act will not apply to aided or un-aided institutions run by minorities.
The Bench has also ruled that Article 21 (A) does not alter the basic structure of the Constitution. The case had been referred to a five-judge Bench as it involved a vital question of law of the rights of unaided, private educational institutions. The Federation of Public Schools, on behalf of 350 unaided schools, had contended that the law violated their right to run the institutions schools without government interference.
The application of Article 21A to private, unaided schools limits the fundamental rights of such institutions to run their educational institutions, which includes the right to admit the students of their own choice, it was argued before the court.
The right to education was made a fundamental right by Parliament in 2009 by inserting Article 21A to provide for free, compulsory elementary education to all children between 6-14 years.