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Punjab and Haryana High Court disposes of PIL against charging of examination fee for board examinations

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently disposed of a PIL against government authorities conducting board examinations for charging an examination fee.

The PIL filed by NGO Ameliorating India alleged that the act of the respondent authorities in conducting the board examinations and charging examination fee on the ground that the same is in violation of the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, specifically Section 30 which prohibits requirement of passing any board examination till completion of elementary education.

Having heard the counsel for the petitioner, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli observed that under Sections 31 and 32 of the said Act, monitoring of child’s right to education as well as mechanism for redressal of grievances relating to rights of the child have been provided.  “Evidently, the petitioner has not invoked the said provisions of the Act.”

From a perusal of the petition, the Court noted that  the petitioner has filed a representation dated 13.09.2021 with regard to its grievances before the Secretary, Department of School Education, Government of India; the Secretary, School Education Department, Punjab as well as the Secretary, Punjab School Education Board, which is still pending.

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P.S. Bajwa, the Additional Advocate General appearing for the respondent State of Punjab, as well as Senior Panel Counsel appearing for the Union of India submitted that the said representation filed by the petitioner shall be looked into and decided by the respondent-authorities expeditiously in accordance with law and the decision taken thereon would be communicated to the petitioner.

In view of the statement made by the learned Additional Advocate General, Punjab as well as Senior Panel Counsel for the Union of India, the Court disposed of the petition.

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