The Madras High Court recently condemned a Tamil Nadu school denying an autistic child admission. The child had been diagnosed with mild autism. The case was filed by an aggrieved mother on the behalf of her minor daughter who was denied admission for her condition.
The plaintiff claimed that the school has advertised on its website their facilities of trained staff being available to take on the educational needs of special students.
The school reneged on that statement and claimed that it made no such promises. The school claimed that the child had been denied admission for her poor admission test score.
When the State proposed a list of schools that took in children with special needs to the aggrieved party, the accused school claimed that they were in the process of hiring special trainers. Therefore, the accused school was willing to take in the plaintiff's daughter.
School Deny Autistic Child Admission
The sitting judge for the case was Justice CV Karthikeyan. In his statement, he stressed that the purpose of education was to help children including children with special needs reach their educational goals.
"It is thus seen that the courts have always been sensitive to children with special needs. They have expressed hope that educational institutions would not betray children with special needs. They have called upon educational institutions to rise to the occasion and extend their arms to those children. Education signifies pulling up from the depth a child and motivate him or her to achieve his or her dream,"
The High Court noted that the accused school was a Christian Missionary school.
The High Court saw its intent to take in the child during the court proceedings as an attempt to brush their recent course of actions 'under the carpet'.
"The sixth respondent has failed not only in this duty but also betrayed the name of the noble Missionary and extremely, extremely distressingly their Christian faith."
The High Court allowed the mother the freedom to choose any of the schools from the list of schools including the accused school.
The court further added that should the aggrieved party settle on the respondent school for admission, the respondent school should not hold the present litigation against her.