The nursery admission process in Delhi plunged into fresh crisis as the Supreme Court stayed last week’s Delhi high court order allowing schools to admit children selected through a draw of lots in the neighbourhood, alumni and sibling categories.
Friday’s order puts a big question mark on the fate of toddlers already admitted to schools as per the high court’s order. Schools completed the admission process for candidates other than those in the inter-state transfer category on April 9 itself, the Department of Education said. It declined to comment on the extent of the impact the SC order would have, only saying that it was passed without hearing it out.
The schools too are in a fix as it is no longer certain if they can start the academic session on April 15, as scheduled. The wait for clarity could continue till April 16, when the SC next hears the matter. The HC, too, had said it would consider if inter-state transfer category and wait-listed children could be accommodated against the remaining vacant seats on April 16.
There is always a mad scramble for nursery seats in Delhi but this year has been nothing short of a nightmare. Thanks to new guidelines and multiple litigations, the process has taken an unprecedented four months, been stalled at least four times and delayed the academic session.
Read: Delhi HC allows nursery admission process to begin
A bench of justice HL Dattu and justice SA Bobde on Friday issued notices to Delhi’s lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung and the education department.
Appearing for parents of inter-state transfer candidates, on whose petition the SC gave the ruling, senior counsel Nidesh Gupta contended the Delhi government’s February 27 notification had forced his clients to vacate seats allotted to them by the draw of lots. The rules were changed after the admission process began, which is against the law, he argued.
At present, schools follow a 95-point system for nursery admissions with 70 points for children who live within an 8-km radius of the school, 20 for those with a sibling in the school and five points if either or both parents are alumni.
Another five points were marked for children whose parents moved from others states to Delhi but this was later scrapped, leading to a bitter legal battle.
Read: Nursery admissions crisis – Some relieved, others remain anxious
Read: DoE tells schools to begin nursery admissions soon