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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Draw of lots only permissible criteria for admission: HC

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 25, 2013
First Published: 00:29 IST(25/1/2013) | Last Updated: 00:31 IST(25/1/2013)

The Delhi High Court on Thursday slammed the state government for giving "unbridled power" to the city's private schools to frame their own criteria for nursery admissions. It said the only system permitted by the Right to Education Act was the draw of lots.

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"Only draw of lots, that is a random selection which excludes any kind of classification, is to be followed and criteria like sibling, first child, alumni, parents profession etc., are against the Right to Education Act, which prohibits any kind of discrimination," said a bench of chief justice D Murugesan and justice VK Jain.

The remarks came a day after the court said it would not hesitate to quash the 2010 government notification on the basis of which the admissions are being made, if it violated the provisions of the RTE Act.

"We are thinking how unbridled power can be given to any school by way of this notification. We are not going into criteria adopted by each school, but only the validity of the notification," the bench told the lawyer for the Association of Unaided Private Schools, when she tried to justify the norms adopted by some individual schools.

The bench will continue hearing the case on January 28. The court is hearing a PIL filed by lawyer Ashok Agarwal of NGO Social Jurist challenging the nursery admission rules.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights urged the court to quash the government notification, saying it gave leeway to private schools to frame their own criteria in violation of the RTE Act.

"The Delhi government gave its own interpretations and made changes to rules framed by the HRD ministry in contravention of the RTE, which strictly prohibits any screening procedure," the commission told the court.


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