Delhi HC Suggests Policy Change for Funds Transfer in MCD Schools

MCD Schools

The Delhi High Court proposed that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) reconsider its policy of transferring funds to students’ bank accounts for purchasing study materials, uniforms, and textbooks, suggesting instead that the funds be kept in the principal’s account.

As per the current policy, the MCD stated that funds are transferred to students’ accounts for these purposes. The agency informed the court about its efforts to open bank accounts for all students in MCD schools and provided data regarding the number of students without operational accounts.

School Principals or Teachers

Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora questioned why the funds cannot remain in the bank accounts of school principals or teachers, who could then utilize them to procure these items for students.

The bench recommended that the MCD revise its policy of transferring funds to students’ accounts and instead deposit them into the principals’ accounts for the provision of study materials, uniforms, and textbooks to children.

Non-Supply of Educational Material

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

The MCD’s counsel explained that initially, the funds are deposited into the principal’s account and then disbursed to students’ accounts. Despite the MCD schools being closed for summer vacations since May 10, the heads of schools have been directed to collect textbooks from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and distribute them to students by May 31, either by calling them or their parents to the schools.

MCD Report

The MCD stated in its status report, “The MCD is making every effort to open bank accounts for all students in MCD schools. Funds in the accounts of students with operational bank accounts have been or are being transferred under the DBT scheme. The MCD aims to open bank accounts for all remaining students by June 15 so that cash can be transferred to their bank accounts for the purchase of notebooks and stationery.”

The court instructed the MCD to submit a fresh status report by July 1 and scheduled further hearings for July 4.

During the proceedings, Agarwal highlighted that to avoid providing benefits under the Right To Education Act (RTE), the MCD is removing the names of students without bank accounts. However, the MCD’s counsel clarified that long-absentee students have only been moved to dormant status and will be reinstated in the school registers upon their return. The counsel assured the court that names of long-absentee students are not being struck off by the schools.

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