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HC suggests MCD to keep money for stationery, uniforms with principals instead of students

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New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Thursday suggested the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to change its policy of transferring money in students' bank accounts for purchasing study material, uniforms and textbooks, and instead keep it in the principal's account.

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According to the existing policy, money is transferred to students' accounts for these purposes, the MCD said.

The agency said it is putting in best efforts to open bank accounts for all students studying in MCD schools and gave the data to the court regarding the number of students who do not have operational accounts.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora asked why the amount cannot stay in the bank accounts of school principal or teachers concerned which can be utilised for purchasing these articles for students.

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The bench suggested the MCD to bring in changes in its policy of transferring money in students' accounts and instead send it to the principals' accounts who will make available the writing material, uniform and textbooks to children.

The court was dealing with a PIL by NGO Social Jurist, represented by advocate Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh, highlighting the non-supply of educational material and other statutory benefits to eight lakh students in the MCD schools even after the commencement of the new academic session.

The MCD counsel said initially the amount is sent in the principal's account and is subsequently disbursed to the accounts of students.

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The counsel said though the MCD schools have closed for summer vacations from May 10, a direction has been issued to the heads of schools that textbooks must be collected from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in a timely manner and distributed to the students by May 31 by calling them or their parents to schools.

"The MCD is putting in its best efforts to open bank accounts for all students studying in the MCD schools. Funds in the accounts of students who have operational bank accounts have been or are being transferred under the DBT scheme.

"The target of the MCD is to open bank accounts for all remaining students on or before June 15 so that cash amount is transferred to their bank accounts for purchase of notebooks and stationery,” the civic agency said in its status report.

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The court directed the MCD to file a fresh status report by July 1 and listed the matter for further hearing on July 4.

During the hearing, Agarwal pointed out that to get rid of providing Right To Education Act (RTE) benefits to the students, MCD is resorting to striking off the names of those who do not have bank accounts.

However, the MCD counsel clarified that long absentee students have only been moved to dormant status and when they will join back, the status will be removed from the school registers.

Answering the court's query in this regard, the MCD counsel said names of long absentee students are not being removed by the schools. PTI SKV SKV TIR TIR

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