Delhi HC seeks MCD reply on plea claiming Afghan students deprived of statutory monetary benefits

All students at the Jangpura Extension school receive their statutory financial benefits through their bank accounts, with the exception of 46 Afghan students who lack bank accounts due to missing Know Your Customer (KYC) documents

The court asked the authorities to file their replies to the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on October 6. (Photo: Getty)

The Delhi High Court has initiated action in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that Afghanistan refugee students attending a municipal primary school are being denied their entitled financial benefits due to issues related to the opening of their bank accounts.

In this matter, a bench presided over by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula has directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the MCD Primary School located at Jangpura Extension, and the Indian Overseas Bank at Jangpura to provide responses to the petition.

The court has given these authorities a deadline to file their responses and has scheduled a further hearing on October 6.

The PIL, which has been filed by the NGO Social Jurist, asserts that the actions taken by the respondents in withholding statutory benefits from Afghanistan refugee students are arbitrary, unjust, motivated by malice, discriminatory, unethical, detrimental to children’s rights, and in violation of the fundamental right to education as enshrined in the Constitution of India, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, and the Delhi Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules.

Advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh, representing the petitioner, highlight that according to the Delhi Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, all students in Delhi government and MCD-run schools are entitled to receive free textbooks, writing materials, and uniforms. Instead of providing these materials, the authorities are expected to transfer funds directly to the students’ bank accounts.

The plea points out that, out of a total of 178 students, there are 73 Afghan students enrolled in the MCD school. All students at the Jangpura Extension school receive their statutory financial benefits through their bank accounts, with the exception of 46 Afghan students who lack bank accounts due to missing Know Your Customer (KYC) documents.

The representation made to the authorities suggests providing cash to students if there are obstacles in opening or activating bank accounts. However, no action has been taken thus far, resulting in the funds earmarked for students remaining unused within the MCD school.

The petition urges the issuance of an appropriate writ, order, or directive instructing the respondents, particularly the MCD Primary School in Jangpura Extension, to grant statutory benefits to the 46 Afghan refugee students.

(With PTI inputs)

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