The nursery admission process in Delhi is unlikely to be disturbed, much to the relief of parents.
Reserving its verdict on a PIL challenging the admission norms as “violative of the Right to Education Act”, the Delhi high court on Wednesday said the act was applicable only to the 25% seats reserved for children from economically weaker sections, and not to the general category.
Hence, the points system being followed by city schools for this year’s admissions is likely to continue.
A bench of chief justice D Murugesan and justice VK Jain asked the Centre and the petitioner to file their written submission clarifying the extent of applicability of RTE to nursery admissions.
Petitioner Social Jurist’s advocate Ashok Agarwal demanded that schools should select students only through draw of lots.
“Hopefully, now the admission process will continue. It looks like the points system, which has its benefit too, would remain and draw of lots will not be the only criterion,” said Gopal Sankara Narayanan, a parent.
The new twist in the case came when Additional Solicitor General Rajeev Mehra and lawyers of schools pointed out that a “child”, as per the RTE act, was a male or female aged between 6 and 14 years. The age of nursery admission is 4 years.
“The Act says RTE is applicable to 25% of the seats. Why was this fact not brought to the attention of the court earlier? Now we just have to look into the applicability of the RTE Act to the remaining 75% seats in a school,” the judges said.
Till the age factor was brought to its attention, the court had during three earlier hearings slammed the government and schools under the premise that RTE was applicable to all seats.
“Schools must follow a uniform criterion. The government cannot allow schools to frame their own criterion. 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 RTE Act,” the court had repeatedly said.