The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said it will not hesitate to quash the 2010 government notification on nursery admission rules if it violated the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Every year, the city’s private schools fix the admission criteria based on the 2010 notification.
Its quashing is likely to affect the ongoing admission process as the court held, “Students are being selected in accordance with the notification and even if the admission process has begun, the study session begins only in April”. The development comes a fortnight before the schools will release their first list.
A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain is likely to pronounce its verdict on Thursday. The bench made these strong remarks after lawyers of the Centre, Delhi government and the association of private schools failed to provide convincing replies to their pointed queries on the validity of the admission criteria being followed by the schools vis-à-vis the RTE.
The court was hearing a PIL that challenged the point system being followed by private schools as a “violation of the RTE Act”. Petitioner Ashok Aggarwal of NGO Social Jurist told the court that only distance should be allowed as a criteria and students should be selected through draw of lots. He argued that the criteria of sibling, alumni and first child were “discriminatory”.
The Centre had issued nursery admission guidelines for the entire country on November 23, 2010, giving private schools the liberty to formulate their own guidelines based on categorisation of children. The Delhi Government went a step further, allowing schools to form criteria like sibling, alumni etc.
Disallowing the plea of the association of private schools to hear out each school, the bench said: “If the government notification is quashed, schools guidelines will automatically stand quashed. We need not look into the guidelines of each school”. “The RTE Act supersedes all notifications. How could the state government amend the centre’s notification?” The bench asked.