Friday, April 29, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Release grant for SC/ST students: Bombay HC

Release grant for SC/ST students: Bombay HC
TNN | Apr 29, 2011, 01.13am IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra
government to disburse an amount of Rs 226.20 crore-a grant for
students from scheduled castes and tribes as well as denotified tribes
(SC/ST, DTNT) enrolled in private aided schools.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice D G Karnik
has directed the government to release the amount in two weeks and pay
it to the schools concerned in two weeks thereafter. Government
pleader Dhairyasheel Nalavade sought a stay of eight weeks on the
order, which the court declined. The directive was issued on a PIL
filed by Naresh Gosavi and other parents claiming that as the
government failed to disburse grant to private aided and unaided
schools under the free education scheme, their children were not
permitted to attend classes.

The government had in December 2010 filed an affidavit stating that
the bills submitted by schools in Mumbai were comparatively higher
than those in 33 districts in the state. The said financial
irregularity was noticed where Rs 45 crore was released by some
officials without sanction of the Social Justice Department (SJD), the
affidavit said.

The petitioner's advocate Gayatri Singh argued that Rs 2,204 crore was
lying idle with the social welfare department. She added that the
government has used around Rs 332 crore for the purpose.

A committee appointed by the government had in April 2010 suggested
three options. The first stated that government should consider paying
grant of Rs 150 for students of lower category, Rs 175 for middle and
Rs 200 for higher category. Thus, the amount for about 13 lakh such
students in Maharashtra comes to Rs 226.20 crore.

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