HC comes to the aid of ‘special child’ deprived of the right to education A representation was made to the new principal stating that the standard of activities at the school had taken a beating after the special educator quit. It also said that efforts should be made to restore the earlier standards. The matter is now scheduled for a hearing on July 15, 2022.
While pulling up the state of Haryana for being blissfully unaware of its duties for providing necessary infrastructural support to “special children” with disabilities, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Advocate Generals of both Haryana and Punjab as well as the senior standing counsel for Chandigarh to assist the court on the issue of making the system more responsive in situations where special children are deprived of the right to inclusive education.
The order was passed by the bench of Justice Sudhir Mittal after hearing a petition filed by a woman and her 16-year-old son with “Down Syndrome” – a condition which exists due to abnormalities in chromosomes existing in genes, and results in an oriental facial appearance and mental retardation. The woman moved to the HC in 2019 when her son Mehtab (also petitioner) had been studying in the special wing of Little Flower Public School for the last five years.
The counsel for Mehtab, Advocate Parunjeet Singh, submitted before the HC that despite this disability, Mehtab is an excellent sportsman and had participated in the Special Olympics by competing in roller skating and swimming. He had won medals at the state and national-level competitions organized for special children. Till May 2019, there had been apparently no problems.
However, around that time, the special educator teaching Mehtab left the school. The principal was also changed. A representation was made to the new principal stating that the standard of activities at the school had taken a beating after the special educator quit. It also said that efforts should be made to restore the earlier standards. However, it did not go down well with the new principal, who – in connivance with the special wing in charge and special educators – orchestrated a campaign to malign Mehtab which eventually led to his removal from the school, alleged the counsel for the petitioners. The school laid stress on the unruly and violent behavior of Mehtab to back up its claim and cited the safety of other special children as the reason for his withdrawal.
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