New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) claiming that Afghan refugee students studying in the corporation’s primary schools are being deprived of statutory monetary benefits due to the non-opening of their bank accounts.
The petition, filed by NGO Social Jurist, alleges that the actions of the authorities in depriving Afghan refugee students of statutory benefits are arbitrary and discriminatory, violating their fundamental right to education as guaranteed under the Constitution of India, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, and Delhi Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules.
According to the Delhi Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, all students in Delhi government and MCD-run schools are entitled to free textbooks, writing materials, and uniforms.
Instead of providing these items, the authorities transfer money to the students’ bank accounts.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula was hearing a petition claiming that 46 Afghan students in the MCD school do not have bank accounts due to a lack of Know Your Customer (KYC) documents.
The court was informed that a representation was given to the authorities suggesting cash to the students if there are issues with opening or operating bank accounts.
However, no action has been taken, and the money owed to the students is still with the MCD school.
The petition urged the court to Issue any appropriate writ, order or direction directing the respondents and more particularly to respondent MCD Primary School, Jangpura Extension to grant statutory benefits to 46 Afghanistan refugee students.
The court issued notice to the MCD, MCD Primary School at Jangpura Extension and Indian Overseas Bank at Jangpura on the petition, and listed the matter for hearing again on October 6.