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Bombay HC Judge offers to pay boy’s school fees

Mumbai: A Judge of the Bombay High Court has asked a school to consider giving admission to a student in Junior KG on payment of Rs. 10,500 fees in instalments as the boy’s widowed mother cannot afford to give the entire amount at one go, failing which the judge offered to pay from his own pocket.

Justice V.M. Kanade, sitting in a Division Bench along with Justice M.S. Sonak, at a hearing on Friday, asked Lokmanya Tilak High School at Tilak Nagar in Chembur to allow the mother of the four-year-old child pay the fees in instalments as she cannot afford to pay the entire amount immediately.

“Please consider this or else I would pay…let the child be not deprived of getting education,” said Mr. Kanade, the seniormost HC Judge after the Chief Justice.

He was hearing a petition filed by the child’s mother who is seeking admission for her son in the school. The woman, Rita Kanojia, is a widow and works as a housemaid. She stays in slums near the school. Her husband, who ran a laundry service, died due to cancer in July 2014. Her two daughters are studying in Class III and IV in the same school. Now, she is seeking admission for her son Kartik in Junior KG. The family cannot afford the school fees, the court was told.

During previous hearing, the Court had told the school authorities to grant admission to the child without insisting on payment of building development fund of Rs. 19,500. Later, the school asked her to pay Rs. 10,500 as school fees.

As Kanojia was unable to give the amount in one go, she requested the school to let her pay in instalments.

However, the school authorities refused to consider her plea and directed the watchman to prevent her from entering the school premises, her lawyer told the Court.

“Please take a sympathetic view of the case and do not deprive the child from getting education,” the bench said.

The bench asked the school authorities to respond to the petition and posted the matter for further hearing on June 27. — PTI

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