The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to entertain an NGO’s plea seeking transfer of hearing related to the nursery admission case from a single judge to a larger bench.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar said that the petition which has challenged the jurisdiction of the single bench on the ground that only a larger bench has jurisdiction to decide it, can be decided by the single bench itself.
“Please raise the issue before the single judge. We are not going into the issue,” the bench said, adding that “whenever you challenge the jurisdiction of the judge or the bench, it should be heard by the same forum which is seized of the issue”.
NGO Justice For All, which is one of the parties seeking to be heard by the court, has argued that the schools have challenged a statutory notification issued by the lieutenant governor and as per Delhi High Court rules only a division bench is entitled to hear the plea.
The school associations filed the present writ petition in which the statutory notification issued by the lieutenant governor has been challenged but the prayer has been framed in a way that a clause of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is challenged, the NGO, through advocate Khagesh Jha, has argued.
The single judge is hearing petitions challenging the Delhi government’s January 7 notification that made 298 private schools -– built on DDA land -- accept admission forms based only on the neighbourhood or distance criteria.
Two minority schools and two separate groups representing private unaided schools and some parents have challenged the notification.