Millennium Post
Delhi

HC order on nursery admission on February 27

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order for February 27 on an appeal filed by the AAP government, challenging a single-judge order that stayed its nursery admissions notification compelling 298 private schools, built on public land, to adopt only neighbourhood criteria.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal after hearing the arguments of the Delhi government, schools and parents said it would pass the order on February 27.

The Delhi government contended that the single judge was wrong and erroneous and sought setting aside of the February 14 order.

Appearing for the Delhi government, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said that decision making process (adopting neighbourhood criteria) was not arbitrary or whimsical or unguided. The decision was taken while keeping in mind the public interest, he added.

Counsel appearing for parents said that the new rules have curtailed their rights to admit their wards to a school of their choice. Schools association said that notification has taken away its freedom to admit students.

Justice Manmohan in his February 14 order said the Delhi government's January 7 notification was "arbitrary and discriminatory".

The notification issued by the Department of Education of the Delhi government had made "distance" the primary criterion for admission of tiny tots.

The single judge had questioned the Delhi government's decision to impose the neighbourhood restriction to only 298 schools that are built on the Delhi Development Authority land.

The notification accorded priority to students living within a radius of one km from the school concerned. In case the seats remain vacant, those living within a distance of 3 km will get the chance for admission.

The court's judgement had come on petitions filed by two school bodies -- the Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools and Forum for Promotion of Quality Education -- along with a few parents.

Earlier, the High Court stayed the government's nursery admission notification that made it mandatory for private unaided minority schools to admit students, in the unreserved category, on the basis of neighbourhood criteria.
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