NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has sought the response of the Centre and the AAP government on a plea seeking to quash an order of the state's education department, alleging an attempt to shut down seven neighbourhood schools in the central district that are running successfully in the garb of 'merger and re-structure'.
Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued a notice to the Department of Education (DoE), Delhi government and the Centre and fixed the matter for further hearing on July 27.
However, during the course of the hearing, the Delhi government counsel told the court that they have withdrawn certain parts of the concerned order.
The plea filed a lawyer-activist Yusuf Naqi, said that as per a reply obtained through Right to Information, the reason behind such closure or merger of schools given was due to less enrolment of students.
"As per Section 8 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, it is the duty of the government to promote education and motivate the students and parents get the pupils enrolled, whereas the government is more inclined and acting towards the closure of seven schools by creating situations as result of which students are left with no other option but to withdraw their enrolments from the said schools which creates an ideal condition for scrapping down the neighbouring schools from 14 to 7," advocate G M Akhter, appearing for Naqi said.
The plea alleged that the closure, merger or restructuring was not an effect of less enrolment but less enrolment was a result of the failure of respondents (Government authorities) to comply with their statutory duty as provided under section 8 of RTE Act.
The petition sought to quash the DoE's order saying it was illegal and detrimental to the fundamental right of citizens.
It also sought direction to the authorities to frame rules or guidelines for the establishment, maintenance and effectively running government and government-aided schools.