These parents have allegedly submitted forged income certificates to avail of the free of-cost education under RTE quota; FIRs to be filed against parents, government officials too may be booked for fraud
While several cases of well-off parents cheating the deserving ones out of benefits of Right to Education Act have come to the fore in the past, the District Education Officer has now decided to take criminal action against such parents in what should serve as a deterrent to many.
Scrutiny of all the RTE applications made in the city revealed that over 72 parents have allegedly submitted forged income certificates to avail of the free-of-cost education under RTE quota. Formal orders have already been passed by the DEO for filing of criminal cases against the parents. It was in June 2017 that the Directorate of Primary Education had issued a circular to all the DEOs and DPEOs asking them to check the backgrounds and other aspects of the RTE applicants (2017-18) and submit a report listing names of parents who have fraudulently sought admission under the quota.
Sources said that FIRs will be filed against 60 parents for allegedly forging documents to grab seats meant for rightful beneficiaries of RTE quota in city schools. These also include 30 parents who initially took admissions for their children but withdrew the application. Police complaints will be registered even against 12 parents who resorted to fraud to avail of RTE quota seats in schools under the DPEO.
Tejal Vaghela, whose children enrolled under the RTE quota, said, “I know of many who have missed out on RTE admissions. It is after a lot of struggle that I have managed to secure admissions for my daughters under RTE. People who can afford good education for their kids are snatching seats meant for our children. This is unfair. The government should give schools the right to verify every RTE application to ensure the quota is used by the rightful beneficiaries.”
Mujahid Nafees, an RTE activist, insists that FIRs should be filed not only against the fraud parents but also the government officials who signed the forged documents. He also feels that the government action has come in quite late because the 2017-18 academic year is about to end.
“The talati, mamlatdar and many others are to be blamed for forging income certificates and other documents. FIRs should also be filed against them because even they are equally at fault. Such fraudulent practices could have been checked had an Admission Enrolment Committee been formed as per rule. This way, the RTE application forms could be scrutinised in the first stage itself.”
He further added, “A complaint should have been filed earlier and not when the academic year is about to end. Due to the loopholes in the government system, the poor have been cheated out of what is rightfully theirs. The seats have been wasted.”
There are 10,125 students admitted under the RTE quota in the current academic year against 13,000 RTE seats across Ahmedabad schools. During scrutiny of the RTE applications, the officials came across cases where the annual income of parents was higher than the eligible income, some lived in a bungalow and even owned a car and an air-conditioner while some even paid monthly electricity bill of Rs 3,000.
As per the RTE Act, the income limit for the general category parents is Rs 68,000 per year and Rs 47,000 for parents in rural areas. Navneet Mehta, DEO (City) said, “We have come across 60 cases of suspected fraud and will soon initiate procedure against such parents. We still have to wait till the police accepts our application. Till then it will be difficult to comment on anything. The scrutiny process included determining whether the income details and other documents submitted were original.”
Sources in the DEO said, “All submitted documents need to be completely verified. Currently were are reporting suspected cases of fraud. By filing an FIR, we are also bringing government servants under the radar of the law. Even they would be suspended if proven guilty.”
Schools that have reported cases of fraud include AG High School, SH Kharawala School, Jivandeep Vidyalaya where the RTE applications have come in from parents residing in Navrangpura, Gulbai Tekra, Kalupur and Memnagar, highly placed sources told Mirror.
DPEO Mahesh Mehta said, “We have around 12 cases where parents who have sought admission under RTE are suspected of having submitted forged documents. We have received the formal order from DEO (City) to register FIR s.”
Nivedita Ganguli, principal of DAV International School, said she had received 2-3 such cases of alleged fraud that have already been reported to education officials. “One parent withdrew the application after we conducted an RTE awareness session with the parents. A child’s future should not be built on the foundation of a lie if we want corruption to be eradicated.” HC lawyer Anand Yagnik said, “It is good that at least an FIR is being filed against the parents. If the investigating officer finds the government servants to be at fault, action will be taken against them too. If he is found guilty, he must be prosecuted.”
There are in all 72 parents in city who have allegedly forged documents to seek admission for their wards under RTE quota.
Below: Mirror report of July 9, 2017
10,125 students have enrolled under RTE quota in city
It is good that at least an FIR is being filed against parents. If govt servants are found to be at fault, action will be taken against them too.
-Anand Yagnik, HC Lawyer
A complaint should have been filed earlier and not when the academic year is about to end. The poor have been cheated due to loopholes in the govt system.
-Mujahid Nafees, RTE activist
We have come across 60 cases of suspected fraud and will soon initiate procedure against such parents. We still have to wait till the police accepts our application.
-Navneet Mehta, DEO (City)
One parent withdrew the application after we conducted an RTE awareness session with the parents. A child’s future should not be built on the foundation of a lie.
-Nivedita Ganguli, Principal,