Judge Deepak Gupta of the Supreme Court heard the appeal and permitted the up-gradation of a school from lower primary to upper primary by observing that children of age group of 10 to 14 years cannot be expected to walk more than 3 kilometers to attend school.
The Manager Palathingal M.L.P. School, Parappanangad were the Appellant while Sethumadhavan P.K. And Ors were the Respondent.
Mr Huzefa Ahmadi, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellant school urged that both the courts have lost sight of the fact that the Government of Kerala specifically exercised the powers of relaxation vested in it under Rule 3 of Chapter I of KER. In the order it is mentioned that the appellant school is situated in an economically backward area and the students mainly belonged to the minority Muslim community. It is also observed that the students studying in this school have to attend schools at a distance of 2.5 kilometres to 6 kilometres after passing Class IV.
The court stated that “We cannot expectchildren in the age group of 10 to 14 years to walk 3 kilometres or more to attend school. The right of education up to the age of 14 years is now a fundamental right under article 21A of the Constitution of India and if this right is to be meaningful then efforts must be made to open upper primary schools in such a manner that no child has to walk 3 kilometers or more only to attend school.”