Courts can become and act as the parent of a child to ensure that he/she is not deprived of the fundamental right to education, the Delhi High Court observed recently [Kamini Arya through Perokar v The State NCT of Delhi].
The Court thus directed the Delhi Police to facilitate the school admission of an eight-year-old child whose parents have been in judicial custody on allegations of murder.
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said that in the present case, the Court has to become the voice of the voiceless child and interfere to uphold the rights envisaged under the Constitution to protect her future.
“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 of the child,” Justice Sharma stated.
The Court took suo motu cognisance of the issue so that the child does not lose the current academic year, and directed the local Station House Office (SHO) to get her admitted into the school adjacent to the one where her elder sibling is already studying.
“The principal of the school will extend full cooperation for the admission of the child. A compliance report will be filed within 10 days,” the judge ordered.
A bail application had been filed in the High Court by a woman seeking interim bail for two weeks to get her child admitted into school. It was stated that she and her husband have been in judicial custody since July 2021, and without her presence, her daughter cannot be granted admission. The High Court was also told that the petitioner’s bail application was earlier rejected by the lower court, which held that the circumstances were not compelling to grant bail.
The Delhi Police argued before the Court that the mother’s presence is not required at the school and the admission can be done if the child has a certificate showing her date of birth from any government institution.
Justice Sharma opined that the girl must get admitted in the school at the earliest “so that the shadow of no unpleasant happening falls upon the child’s life to darken her future”.
“The parents are in judicial custody and the prime concern of the parents is education of the child. 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 to every extent possible. An educated child educates the entire family and becomes an asset to the nation,” it held.
Advocate Anu Narula appeared for the petitioner.
Additional Public Prosecutor Manoj Pant appeared for the State.