The petitioner alleged that though she was a duly selected beneficiary under the Savitri Bai Phule Balika Shiksha Madad Yojana, which was started by the BSP government, the authorities were not extending to her the benefits arguing that there were no funds left, and that the scheme had been abolished in May
The Allahabad High Court has held that the state cannot deprive a duly selected person of the benefits of a scheme on the ground of lack of adequate funds, or the scheme’s abolition at a later date.
The court has said that such an argument is discriminatory, arbitrary and in violation of the constitutional provision of equality before law.
The high court order came on a petition filed by Kumari Sita, a school student and daughter of a BPL card-holder.
She alleged that though she was a duly selected beneficiary under the Savitri Bai Phule Balika Shiksha Madad Yojana, which was started by the BSP government, the authorities were not extending to her the benefits of the scheme arguing that there were no funds left for the same.
It was also being argued that no benefits could be extended to the petitioner as the newly elected state government had abolished the scheme on May 23 this year.
Passing the order on Tuesday, a division bench of Justices Sunil Ambwani and Aditya Nath Mittal directed the District Inspector of Schools (DIOS), Allahabad, and the state Education Department to extend all benefits mentioned in the scheme to the petitioner within one month.
Under the scheme, the authorities will have to deposit Rs 15,000 in the petitioner’s bank account, besides giving her a bicycle (or depositing its cost in her account), as she has taken admission in class 11 after passing class 10. Further, since she is continuing with her education in class 12, another Rs 10,000 would be deposited in her account.
The court said: “In our view, once it is admitted that the petitioner was found eligible.she could not be denied the benefits as the scheme was not dependent upon the availability of funds. The denial of the benefits of the scheme to the petitioner on the ground that sufficient funds were not received is arbitrary, discriminatory and is violative of Articles 14 (equality before law) and 15 (protection against discrimination) of the Constitution of India.”
The court also observed that closure of the scheme by the newly elected government would not affect the eligibility of