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Delhi HC asks Bar Council to decide upon representation seeking inclusion of RTE Act as compulsory subject in law colleges

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday, asked the Bar Council of India (BCI) to decide upon the representation seeking the introduction of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act, 2009) as a compulsory subject for students of all law colleges and universities.
The Bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad requested BCI to look into the prayers made in representation within a reasonable time period. Justice Satish Chander Sharma also observed that the prayers seeking the introduction of the RTE Act in the syllabus of law students are genuine. Court also noted the submissions made by Counsel representing BCI that it is seriously looking at this matter.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was recently moved before the Delhi High court seeking a direction to the Bar Council of India to consider introducing the RTE Act, 2009 as a compulsory subject for students of all law colleges and universities.
The PIL was filed by the NGO Social jurist through advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh.
It is stated that the petitioner made a representation to BCI on February 15, 2023, to consider the request before the next academic session commences.
The PIL has been filed for direction to BCI, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Guru Gobind Singh IP University.
It was submitted that RTE Act, 2009 is a key right for the education and development of all children in society. Unfortunately, RTE Act, 2009 has not been implemented in its true letter and spirit.
Needless to say, the population of children is around 40-45 per cent of the total population. The justiciability of the right to education places a great responsibility on lawyers - for lawyers alone can take violations to Court, the PIL stated.
Therefore, a great responsibility for legal education is to educate and equip lawyers to first investigate situations in which the right to education is liable to be violated, to recognize violations, and finally, to seek justice through legal tools for the child's right to education, the petition stated.
It was also submitted that respondent Bar Council of India in terms of Part IV- Rules of Legal Education of the Bar Council of India Rules is empowered with the responsibility of prescribing compulsory subjects in Centres of Legal Education i.e. law colleges and universities.
It was also submitted that RTE Act, 2009 needs to be implemented in its true letter and spirit and the same can happen only if, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act, 2009) is taught as a compulsory subject in Centres of Legal Education.
BCI's inaction to consider petitioner representation dated February 15, 2023, and reminder letter March 2, 2023, to consider introducing the RTE Act, 2009 as a compulsory subject in the curriculum for students in all law colleges and universities violates the fundamental right to education as guaranteed to lakhs of children under Articles 14, 21 and 21-A of the Constitution of India and the provisions of the RTE Act, 2009, the PIL submitted. (ANI)

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