Government trying to implement Right to Education by mid-2010

New Delhi: The Union government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it is committed to implementing the fundamental Right to Education of children below 14 years by mid-2010.

The government also said that the rules being framed for the purpose are likely to be ready by April or May.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium made this submission to a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice B.S. Chauhan, while hearing a lawsuit by eminent advocate M.C. Mehta seeking elimination of child labour from society and implementation of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

Over seven years after the constitution was amended in 2002 to make free and compulsory education to children in the age group of 6-14 a fundamental right and over four months after the historic Right to Education Bill was passed in parliament, the law is yet to be notified and implemented.

"If it is implemented in full vigour, the children will be in school and not in work places," the chief justice observed, referring to a host of the apex court's directions in a 1996 ruling on the issue of child labour and the provisions for their education.

Balakrishnan made the observation as Mehta sought the implementation of the court's order as also the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

Responding to the chief justice's observation, Subramanium said, "The government is committed to implement the Act. The government is currently engaged in framing the rules of the act for its implementation and the rules will be ready by April or May this year."

As the solicitor sought to impress upon the court about the progress made in the field of child education under the Union government's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the chief justice too agreed that the programme has made a good impact, especially in some of the states.

The bench adjourned the matter for further hearing in March, while also asking the government to file a detailed affidavit on various steps taken by it to eliminate child labour from society. IANS
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