The Delhi high court has suspended nursery admissions in the city till March 24, fourth such hold up in recent months, compounding parents’ anxiety struggling to get their children started in school.
“No admission will take place till next date of hearing,” a division bench of acting chief justice BD Ahmed and justice Siddharth Mridul said, staying the fresh draw of lots ordered March 6. The case will now be heard on March 24.
This is for the first time that nursery admissions have dragged on for such a long time, with confusion over guidelines and point system, which has been changed at least twice this year. The admission process typically gets over by March 31.
Wednesday’s order has put a question mark on the fate of the students who have got admissions.
“We have followed all rules, submitted all documents and have done it on time... We still don’t know whether our daughter will go to school today or not,” said Preeti Varma, whose daughter has secured admission in a school but is now staring at uncertainty.
The court also issued notices to the Delhi government and lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung on the fresh petition moved by some parents against the order calling for a fresh lottery.
Their children had already been selected and would have to face the lottery again, guardian of 14 children told the court, challenging the March 6 order.
The court had ordered fresh draw of lots for all seats, including the confirmed one and those vacated after the government on February 27 scrapped inter-state transfer category under which it used to give five additional points to children whose parents were transferred to Delhi from other states.
If the draw of lots was conducted all over again, the probability of selected candidates getting “lucky twice” decrease drastically, the court said.
During the hearing, a woman broke down, saying she wouldn’t be able to send her child, who comes under the transfer category, if the March 6 order was scrapped.
Expressing its displeasure over the “mess”, the court asked the government to furnish details of seats available, number of candidates with the details of neighbourhood, sibling, alumni and inter-state-transfers.
At present, 95-point system is followed for admissions -- 70 points are allocated to neighbourhood criteria, 20 to sibling and five under alumni category.