Dealing with a woman’s application seeking interim bail for two weeks in a murder case to enable her to get her 8-year-old daughter admitted to a school, the Delhi High Court directed police to ensure her admission and asked the school principal to extend full cooperation. The child’s father is also an accused in the same case.
“Right to Education is a fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen under Article 21-A of the Constitution. A child must not suffer the consequences, on account of their parents having been in judicial custody for a crime which is yet to be adjudicated upon by the court. This court is duty bound to enforce fundamental rights of every citizen, and in this case right to education,” said Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma in an order.
The couple has been in judicial custody since July 11, 2021, in a case related to the murder of an old woman whose body parts were severed and found disposed of in a drain. The trial court had earlier dismissed the woman’s application for interim bail, saying her ground for bail cannot be termed “a compelling circumstance”.
During the hearing, Justice Sharma was told that the mother’s presence is not required for admission of the child to the school and her Aadhaar card would suffice. The child’s admission can be done without the Aadhaar card if the child has a certificate, bearing her date of birth, from any government institution, the court was told.
The court said it is imperative that the court intervenes timely and upholds the right envisaged in the Constitution to protect the future of the child.
“This court is of the opinion that the child must get admitted to a school at the earliest so that the shadow of no unpleasant happening falls upon the child’s life to darken her future,” said the bench.
Justice Sharma said in “the present unpleasant situation”, the court has to become “the voice of the voiceless child” since parents are in judicial custody.
“It is not only in cases dealing with family disputes that the rights and welfare of the child should be considered but also in the cases as the present one, the courts can become and act as the parent of the child and ensure that the child is not deprived of its fundamental right to education. Depriving any child of education due to family circumstances should not be allowed. An educated child educates the entire family and becomes an asset to the nation,” the court added.
Taking suo motu cognizance of the issue to facilitate the child’s admission to a school, the court said, “It is therefore directed that the SHO concerned will get the child admitted to the school adjacent to the senior branch of the school in which her older sibling is already enrolled and pursuing her education.”
With the court passing the direction for admission of her child, the counsel representing the accused woman sought to withdraw her application for interim bail, which was permitted by the court. The court has sought a compliance report regarding the admission within 10 days.