The Delhi government has informed the Supreme Court that it wants to end the “elitist approach” of schools in admitting children at the nursery level.
Opposing a petition from Sanskriti School, which sought the apex court’s nod to revive its reservation policy for the children of Group A category central government bureaucrats, the Arvind Kejriwal government said on Tuesday that children from all backgrounds must get the opportunity to be educated.
Sanskriti school reserves as much as 60% of its seats for the wards of Group category bureaucrats. The Delhi high court had quashed the reservation policy last month, stating that it catered to the “elite” group. The court also held that the school received government grants from the state exchequer.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade told the Supreme Court that Sanskriti was legally obliged to follow the government’s January 6 notification that struck down 62 criteria for admissions, including the management quota. The notification has been challenged before the Delhi high court.
“The school is not exempted from that notification. Just like any other private school, it is bound to admit students as per the office order,” the counsel said, adding that the Delhi government was a regulator and the schools were its instruments for implementing the state education policy.
Meanwhile, a bench headed by justice AR Dave posted the hearing of the school as well as the Centre’s petitions against the high court verdict to Thursday. On its request, the court also extended Sanskriti School’s deadline for admitting students from January 22 to 30.
The court said a larger bench of three judges will hear the matter because Sanskriti had raised a constitutional issue of whether a private society governing a school can be termed as a state. If declared a state, it would be subject to higher public accountability.