The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a plea challenging a Delhi High Court verdict that said the Right to Education (RTE) Act was not applicable to nursery admissions in unaided private schools.
A bench of justice HL Dattu and Justice Dipak Misra issued notice to Delhi government and sought its response to the appeal filed by NGO Social Jurist.
Petitioner’s counsel Ashok Aggarwal in his submission said the Delhi High Court had erred in holding that the RTE Act applied only in matters of admission of children between the age groups of 6 and 14 years and was not applicable to nursery admissions.
The NGO in its petition stated: “The Delhi High Court has clearly erred in law in holding that the provisions of Section 13 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 applies only in the matter of admission of children between the age of 6 years to 14 years and was not applicable to admission of children below 6 years in unaided private schools.”
According to the NGO, Section 13 of the Act was formulated in the context of rampant screening practices adopted by the private unaided schools in nursery admissions.
“It was to correct this mischief that the said provision was incorporated,” the petition said.
The high court had on February 19 dismissed a petition that wanted a direction to schools to follow RTE guidelines for conducting nursery admissions.
The court, however, held that the RTE Act and subsequent government notifications were not applicable to nursery admissions in unaided private schools.
It had asked the Centre to consider amending the Act to include nursery education as well, saying that the schools could not be allowed to run as “teaching shops” as it would be “detrimental to equal opportunity to children”.