Friday, January 30, 2015
Thursday, January 22, 2015
CRUEL DELHI GOVERNMENT SCHOOL FORCIBLY ISSUED SLC TO MASTER ANKIT KUMAR, A PATIENT OF POTT’S SPINE DISEASE - AIPA WRITES TO DOE
The Director of Education
Government of NCT of Delhi
Old Secretariat Building
Civil lines, New Delhi-110054
January 22, 2015
Subject – Cruel Delhi Government School forcibly issued SLC to Master Ankit Kumar, a patient of Pott’s Spine disease
A very shocking and inhuman incident has come to my notice wherein a Government Co-ed Senior Secondary School (ID No. 1618191) Bindapur Extn., New Delhi-110059 has, without any basis, forcibly issued a School-Leaving Certificate (SLC) to Master Ankit Kumar (ID No. 20110216465), a student of Class IX and a patient of Pott’s Spine, on 27.12.2014. Copies of the said SLC as well as a written complaint by Mrs. Amrita Kumari, mother of Master Ankit Kumar, are enclosed hereto for your reference.
It is submitted that Master Ankit Kumar, while studying in the above-said school, fell ill of Pott’s Spine disease and was referred to AIIMS for treatment. Despite the fact that his condition was not favourable, he continued to attend the school till the end of November 2014. Thereafter, he became immobile and could not attend school any further.
Master Ankit Kumar was advised an immediate surgery by AIIMS. He was, however, asked to first deposit Rs. 2,61,450 as the cost of the Pedicle Screws Spinal Fixation System, an implant, which he was unable to afford. Therefore, his father approached Delhi Health Services for financial assistance under Delhi Arogya Nidhi/Kosh, but the application for the same got stuck in procedural hurdles at AIIMS which was required to certify the expenditure to be incurred on the treatment.
In these circumstances, Master Ankit Kumar, through Advocate Ashok Agarwal, filed a Writ Petition [WP(C) No.9434/2014)] in the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi seeking direction to AIIMS for free treatment. The Hon’ble High Court by its order dated 24.12.2014 directed AIIMS to forthwith issue the expenditure-certificate for Master Ankit’s application under Delhi Arogya Nidhi/Kosh and further to proceed with the surgery without even awaiting the completion of formalities in regard to Delhi Arogya Nidhi/Kosh if the attending doctors were of the opinion that surgery was required urgently. A copy of the said Order dated 24.12.2014 is enclosed hereto for your reference.
What is unbelievable and shocking is that while the entire family of Master Ankit Kumar was struggling to secure medical treatment for him and even the Hon’ble Delhi High Court ultimately grasped the gravity of the matter, the school-Principal in the meanwhile called Master Ankit’s Mother Mrs. Amrita Kumari to school on 22.12.2014 and forced her to sign an application for issuance of an SLC, despite having knowledge of the reason behind Master Ankit’s absence from school. Pursuant thereto, on 27.12.2014, the school issued an SLC. All this happened despite the fact that Master Ankit Kumar wanted to continue his studies in the above-said school and neither he nor his family was ever interested in obtaining an SLC. Such an incident is both shocking as well as painful and requires a thorough probe at your end.
It is needless to state here that the school-authorities are expected to act as friend, philosopher, guide to the students, but this case illustrates quite the opposite. The school-authorities herein have exhibited exemplary insensitivity towards the ailing student. The erring official deserves to be taken to task.
You are therefore requested to look into this matter, direct for cancellation of the SLC dated 27.12.2014, allow Master Ankit Kumar to continue his studies in the above-said school and take immediate action against the erring Principal of the school, who has issued the said SLC in violation of all the standards and norms.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
National President, AIPA
PIL LETTER – GROSS VIOLATIONS OF CHILD RIGHTS IN BULAND SHAHAR DISTRICT OF U.P. - SOCIAL JURIST WRITES TO CHIEF JUSTICE OF ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT
Hon’ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud
High Court of Judicature at Allahabad
January 21, 2014
Subject:PIL Letter – Gross violations of child rights in Buland Shahar District of U.P.
Social Jurist, A Civil Rights Group consists of practicing lawyers and social activists dedicated to the cause of common man and particularly of children.
Through this letter, I wish to draw your kind attention towards the gross violations of child-rights, including the fundamental rights to education and freedom from exploitation rampant in Bulandshahar District of U.P. These violations have come to my notice during my visit along with social worker Sunita Chouhan to Sarai Ghasi, Sikandrabad, district Bulandshahar, U.P. on January 1, 2015 as part of my organization Social Jurist’s initiative to spread awareness on rights to education, health and labor-rights. Such violations are certainly not restricted to this particular area but are commonplace throughout the State of Uttar Pradesh, which is a matter of serious concern.
In order to assess the public education system, I made visits to the Anganwadi, primary schools and inter-college in village Sarai Ghasi. There are two government primary schools and one government-aided inter-college (Class VI-XII). Two rooms in one of the primary schools have been given to Anganwadi Workers to run Anganwadi for the small kids. The conditions are more or less pathetic in all of them. Observations in some detail are given below:
The two rooms allotted to the Anganwadi serve the dual purpose of store-room and class-room/child-care centre. Lot of space in both the rooms was occupied by wheat bags. Both the rooms were dark. There was no electric connection.
Tender-aged children were sitting on a mat made of plastic rags stitched together. The surface of the same was chilling cold. Two small kids were cleaning the room with brooms in their hands in the presence of Anganwadi workers. The utensils which the children had brought for mid-day meal were unclean. One of these kids was having a school bag with him and when the same was opened, bits of a torn book were found.
We were told that most of the kids at the Anganwadi were the children of the migrant-workers working in the brick-kiln industry.
The Primary Schools
About 200-250 children are enrolled in the two primary schools. There were no boundary wall, no electricity-connection, no chairs, no drinking water-arrangement and no toilet in either of the two primary schools. Cattle could be seen tied down in the vicinity of the school building.
It is submitted that both these primary schools found to be non-compliant schools in terms of the minimum norms prescribed under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. It is not difficult to image the state of primary schools in other part of the U.P.
In the Inter-College, a government aided institution, some 600 students are enrolled. There is an option for science stream but no science lab in the school. It was heard that there were some computers in the school but they were stated to have been kept safely locked inside some secret room. Anyway, there was no computer-teacher. There was no electricity and no desks in the classrooms. Windows were broken and dilapidated.
Overall, there was no conducive atmosphere for education in any of these institutions.
I also happened to visit a brick-kiln site in the village. Nearly 70 migrant families, who had settled around this area for the past 6 months, were employed there. I was informed that the families were paid Rs.450 for every 1000 bricks. All the members of the family, including children, were working in the brick-kiln. More than a hundred children were below 14 years of age. Obviously, none of these children was attending any school. I was told that there were two more such brick-kiln sites in the village where similar situation was prevailing. Child labour is prohibited in the brick-kiln process under the provisions of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. The employment of children in this brick-kiln not only constitutes a violation of the statutory rights of the children but of their Fundamental Rights against exploitation under Article 24 of the Constitution of India
It is respectfully submitted that State of Uttar Pradesh has done nothing to improve the conditions of the Government Schools and to bring all the out of school children in school. It is needless to say that Child Labour is a National Shame and the State of Uttar Pradesh has to check the same and ensure that whatever is required to be done for providing quality education to all the children in Government-run schools must be done immediately.
In these circumstances, you are requested to kindly treat this letter as a PIL and take suo motu cognizance of the child-right-violations mentioned herein, so that these and such other violations taking place in other corners of the State of Uttar Pradesh may be checked in future.
Some photos are attached hereto.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist
FREE TREATMENT FOR EWS PATIENTS - SUPREME COURT NOTICES TO ROCKLAND HOSPITAL & SITARAM BHARTIA HOSPITAL
Supreme Court (Justice Ranjan Gogoi & Justice Arun Mishra) today has been pleased to issue notices to Sitaram Bhartia Hospital and Rockland Hospital on a SLP filed by Govt. of NCT of Delhi challenging Delhi High Court Division Bench common Judgment dated 28.04.2014 in writ petition (Civil) no 3792 of 2013 and other connected writ petitions holding that Moolchand Khairati Ram Hospital, St. Stephens’ Hospital, Sitaram Bhartia Hospital and Rockland Hospital, Qutub Institutional area are not obliged to provide free treatment to EWS patients.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Note: Social Jurist is in the process of filing SLPs in Supreme Court against Moolchand Hospital and St. Stephens’ Hospital also.
The Delhi High Court Wednesday slammed the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for stopping pensions of nearly 45,000 people, including disabled, widow, and aged persons.
A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued notice to the EDMC and asked it to file affidavit stating the number of persons entitled to receive the pension under old-age pension scheme and the number of persons actually receiving the pension.
"Issue notice to EDMC. The counsel shall file affidavit which clearly sets out the number of persons entitled to receive the old age stipend/pension under the old age pension scheme," the bench said.
It added: "The counsel shall also indicate the number of persons actually receiving such stipend and the method EDMC is using for selecting to grant stipend. It shall also be indicated to whom the EDMC have stopped giving such stipend."
The court added the South and North Delhi Municipal Corporations as parties to the case and issued notice to them too. The court sought responses from the civic bodies by March 11.
During the hearing, counsel appearing for the EDMC told the court that the civic body does not have the funds for granting pension. "We have scheme but we are out of funds. We have applied to the home ministry for funds. We have paid pensions till April 2013," counsel told the bench.
The bench, however, was disappointed by the EDMC action of stopping pension, and said the arguments of counsel are absurd.
"It's absurd. It's a complete eyewash. You (EDMC) are not giving pension to anyone. Give list of persons you are giving pensions," said the court.
The PIL filed by NGO Social Jurist through advocate Ashok Agarwal termed denial of pension the old and the disabled as a violation of fundamental rights.
The PIL claims these persons were allowed the pension under the municipal corporation's pension schemes which were abruptly stopped recently without specifying a reason.
Agarwal said the action of the EDMC is "arbitrary and illegal".
The PIL said: "The civic agency has framed a scheme for the disbursing stipend/pension inter alia to the old people above the 60 years of age, disabled and widows residing in Delhi. The municipal corporation is also stated to have approved of the rules and regulations for disbursement of pensions to old aged persons etc, in 2008."
The NGO said, last month its office-bearers visited the slum of Shashi Garden, Patparganj, in east Delhi as part of their constant initiative to spread awareness on health, education and labour rights.
While interacting with the locals, around 50 of them complained they were not receiving pension which they were earlier getting from the EDMC as disabled/widows/old-aged persons. Several persons have not received pension for more than a year.
"The destitute, whose only means of survival was the said stipend/pension, have thus been left in a lurch by the abrupt and arbitrary stoppage of stipend/pension. Their monthly budgets have been hit hard and many of them have been drawn to the brink of starvation," the PIL pointed out.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
अधिवक्ता अशोक अग्रवाल ने कहा की हमारे सविधान ने धर्म, जाति, लिंग, जन्मस्थान के भेदों को दरकिनार कर सभी नागरिको को समान अधिकार दिए है l अब शिक्षा का अधिकार भी नागरिको के मौलिक अधिकारों में शामिल हो गया है l निशुल्क तथा अनिवार्य शिक्षा का अधिकार क़ानून का फायदा उढ़ाकर हमें 14 वर्ष तक की आयु वाले सभी बालक-बालिकायो को शिक्षित करना चाहिए l उन्होंने कहा की इस कानून के सफल क्रियान्वन के लिए हमें प्रशासनिक मशीनरी पर दवाब बनाये रखना चाहिए क्यूंकि सरकारी मशीनरी इस कानून के क्रियान्वन को लेकर ज्यादा उत्साहित नहीं है l
सलाम मेवात अखवार - अलवर - जनवरी - I 2015, पेज - I
Monday, January 19, 2015
North Delhi Municipal Corporation has assigned court work to one of its primary teacher Chetan when over 70 % teaching staff of municipal schools are already on election duty. Is anybody in the ruling class bothered about the education of the children of the poor?
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Stop private unaided schools from adopting admission criteria for Class-I admissions in violation of S. 13 of the RTE Act, 2009 - Social Jurist writes to Director of Education
The Director of Education
Government of NCT Delhi
Old Secretariat Building
Civil Lines, Delhi-110054
Subject- Stop private unaided schools from adopting admission criteria for Class-I admissions in violation of S. 13 of the RTE Act, 2009
It has come to our notice that the private unaided schools in Delhi which start from Class I, estimated to be around a hundred in number, have been formulating and adopting their own admission criteria which are in teeth of Section 13 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
Needless to say, Classes I-VIII constitute the elementary classes which are undoubtedly covered under the RTE Act, 2009. As per Section 13 of the RTE Act, 2009, schools are prohibited from screening children for admission and the same is punishable with a fine upto of Rs. 25,000 for the first violation and upto Rs. 50,000 for each subsequent violation. ‘Screening’ has been defined in Section 2 (o) as any method of selection that prefers one child over another, other than a random method. Thus, schools admitting children to Class I are not permitted to adopt any admission criteria other than employing a random method of selection.
However, the private unaided schools in Delhi are violating the above provisions with impunity. As a matter of illustration, Bhatnagar International School, BX, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070 which starts from Class I, has put up the following admission criteria for Class I on its website:
A) Within 5 kms: 50
B) 5 kms & above: 45
Sibling studying in school
It is apparent that the above criteria are arbitrary, discriminatory and expressly violative of Section 13 of the RTE Act, 2009. The same are only illustrative and all such other private unaided schools in Delhi are similarly adopting arbitrary, discriminatory and illegal criteria.
You are therefore requested to take prompt action to prevent such private unaided schools from formulating and adopting Class –I admission criteria on their own whims and fancies, thereby violating Section 13 of the RTE Act, 2009 as well as the children’s Fundamental Rights to Education and Equality.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
1. Hon’ble Sh. Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
7, Race Course Road, Raisina Hill
2. Hon’ble Sh. Najeeb Jung
Lieutenant Governor of Delhi
Raj Niwas, Raj Niwas Marg
January 14, 2015
Subject: Need to curb the sources of black money at home
Over the past few months of your government’s tenure, it has been observed that your government has been deeply anxious to bring back the black money stacked in the Swiss Bank. However, little success has been achieved in this direction so far. As per leading newspaper reports, the government is finding it difficult to even assess the amount of India’s black money stacked in foreign banks.
However, it is a matter of great surprise that while the ongoing private unaided school-admission process in Delhi is generating hundreds of crores of rupees in the form of ‘donations’ and capitation fee, which are not only black money but also qualify as proceeds of crime, in terms of the prohibition contained in Section 13 of the RTE Act, 2009, this issue has hardly received any attention of your government.
If the quantum of black money so generated by private unaided schools across the country in the last 10 years is assessed, we are sure that it will far surpass all the governmental estimates of black money stacked in foreign banks. While the government does not have any control over the black money abroad, it surely has all the requisite machinery to check this source of black money-generation at home.
We, therefore, urge the government to divert some of its attention to this direction.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
National President, AIPA
Monday, January 12, 2015
सोशल जूरिस्ट ने पेंशन का भुगतान न करने के एवज में पूर्वी दिल्ली नगम निगम (ईडीएमसी) के खिलाफ सोमवार को एक जनहित याचिका दायर की l दिल्ली हाईकोर्ट में अधिवक्ता अशोक अग्रवाल द्वारा दायर की गई इस याचिका में बताया गया की ईडीएमसी ने डेढ़ सालो से पेंशन नहीं दी है l जिससे जरुरतमंदो को काफी परेशानी हो रही है l इस मामले में सुनवाई बुधवार को हो सकती है l
पंजाब केसरी - 13 जनवरी 2015 - पेज 6
वंशिका की उम्र मात्र 3 साल है और उसके दिल में दो छेद और उसका राईट वाल्व डेवेलोप नहीं हुआ है l जिस कारण वंशिका को तुरंत एक बड़ी हार्ट सर्जरी की जरुरत है l वंशिका के पिता पंकज फरीदाबाद में रहते है l पंकज ने तीन साल का मैकेनिकल डिप्लोमा किया है पर कोई अच्छी जॉब ना मिलने के कारण वो फरीदाबाद में बादशाह खान गवर्नमेंट हॉस्पिटल में फोर्थ ग्रेड पर कॉन्ट्रैक्ट पे काम करते है l उन्हें वहा 7000/- रुपये प्रति माह मिलते है l वंशिका की माँ ग्रेजुएट है पर वो हाउस वाइफ है और बच्चे को संभालती है l कुल मिला के परिवार की कुल मासिक आय 7000/- प्रति माह ही है, वंशिका के माता पिता बच्चे की इलाज़ को लेके काफी परेशान है, क्यूंकि उनके पास पैसे नहीं है बच्चे के इलाज़ के लिए l फिर उन्हें कही से अधिवक्ता अशोक अग्रवाल के बारे में पता लगा की वो आज सुबह उनके ऑफिस आये l अधिवक्ता अशोक अग्रवाल ने उन्हें EWS के तहत फ्री इलाज के लिए फोर्टिस एस्कॉर्ट्स हार्ट इंस्टिट्यूट भेजा l
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Rejecting the plea of the school that the teacher was working in an unrecognized school, a Division Bench of Delhi High Court consisting of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Najmi Waziri on January 9, 2015 directed the management of Kulachi Hansraj Model School to pay to its teacher Smt. Pramod Popli arrears of 6th pay commission salary amounting to Rupees 5, 90,557.00 for the period from January 2006 to July 2012 along with 9% interest thereupon within four weeks.
The High Court was hearing a review petition filed by the school management against the Division Bench order dated 09.09.2013 dismissing the school’s appeal against the Single Judge Order dated 29.04.2013. The Single Judge had held that Smt. Pramod Popli was entitled to the benefits of 6th pay commission report till she retired on 31.07.2012.
Lawyer Ashok Agarwal appearing for the teacher Smt. Pramod Popli had opposed the review petition of the school arguing that her client was working in a recognized school, namely, Kulachi Hansraj Model School and was therefore, entitled to salary in terms of 6th pay commission.
The High Court has directed the school to file a compliance report and listed the matter for 28.03.2015.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Thursday, January 8, 2015
सौरभ की उम्र 13 साल है, सौरभ की एक किडनी ख़राब हो गयी थी l सौरभ के पिता हाथरस, यूपी के रहने वाले है और वहा मजदूरी कर के किसी तरह अपना घर चलाते है l उनके पास सौरभ के इलाज़ कराने के लिए पैसे नहीं थें l सौरभ के माता पिता सौरभ को दिल्ली ले के फ्री इलाज की आशा लिए अधिवक्ता अशोक अग्रवाल के पास आये l अधिवक्ता अशोक अग्रवाल ने उन्हें EWS के तहत फ्री इलाज के श्री बालाजी एक्शन मेडिकल इंस्टिट्यूट भेजा l उन्होंने सौरभ का ऑपरेशन व इलाज़ बहुत अच्छे से किया और सौरभ अब बिलकुल ठीक है l अधिवक्ता अशोक अग्रवाल और सौरभ के माता पिता श्री बालाजी एक्शन मेडिकल इंस्टिट्यूट का बहुत धन्यवाद् करते है l हॉस्पिटल ने सौरभ के इलाज़ पर 1 लाख 65 हज़ार रुपये खर्च किये l आज सौरभ अपने माता पिता के साथ अधिवक्ता अशोक अग्रवाल से मिलने उनके ऑफिस आये l
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
वेरिफिकेशन के नाम पर बच्चों का इंटरव्यू, पैरंट्स परेशान
ऑल इंडिया पैरंट्स असोसिएशन के प्रेजिडेंट एडवोकेट अशोक अग्रवाल का कहना है कि बच्चों को स्कूल में नहीं बुलाया जा सकता है। स्कूल वाले अब डॉक्युमेंट वेरिफिकेशन का सहारा ले रहे हैं । एडवोकेट अग्रवाल का कहना है कि राइट टु एजुकेशन एक्ट का उल्लंघन किया जा रहा है और यह 2007 रेगुलेशंस के खिलाफ है। शिक्षा निदेशालय को इस संबंध में एक्शन लेना चाहिए।
नवभारत टाइम्स - 07 जनवरी 2015 - पेज 8
“The direction is a contravention of the RTE Act and in direct conflict with Section 18 and 19 of the Act. The government does not have any power to permit unrecognised schools to run without necessary provisions. The state government cannot dilute the provisions of a Central Act by issuing such directions arbitrarily,” Khagesh Jha,
The Indian Express, Express Newsline - 07 January 2015, Page 3
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Awareness among the workers about benefits under labour laws was very low. Almost all labour laws are violated by the employers. Labour Department is just doing nothing. The same is the scene all over Delhi.
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Sunday 04.01.2015 Program - Advocate Ashok Agarwal will meet the workers at Gurudwara Suraj Park, Badli Delhi (Near Mount Abu International school, Rohini Sector- 18) between 11 am to 1 pm on Sunday January 4, 2015 to discuss their legal problems.
In Saraighasi village, Distt. Bulandshahar, U.P., there are two government primary schools and one government-aided inter-college (Class VI-XII).
About 200-250 children are enrolled in the two primary schools. there is no boundary wall, no electricity-connection, no chairs, no drinking water-arrangement, no toilet in either of the two primary schools. cattle can be seen in the vicinity of the school building.
In the inter-college, some 600 students are enrolled. There is an option for science stream, but no science lab. It is heard that there are computers but they are stated to have been kept safely locked inside some secret room. anyway, there is no computer-teacher. there is no electricity and no desks in the classrooms. windows are broken and dilapidated.