Nursery admission: HC to hear pleas Tuesday

The Delhi High Court Monday said it will hear Tuesday the pleas challenging the decision of a single-judge bench to quash the lieutenant governor`s points system guidelines of last year on nursery admissions in unaided private schools of the capital.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday said it will hear Tuesday the pleas challenging the decision of a single-judge bench to quash the lieutenant governor`s points system guidelines of last year on nursery admissions in unaided private schools of the capital.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw said it will hear in detail the interim stay application on the operation of single judge order, as the matter requires detailed consideration.

The appeals were filed by the government and NGO Social Jurist against the order which quashed the guidelines issued by the lieutenant governor.

The order said the neighbourhood, sibling and alumni criteria set as per the notification will go.

Schools can now set their own criteria according to the 2007 Ganguly Committee guidelines.

Justice Manmohan Nov 28 quashed the points system, saying the guidelines were a violation of the fundamental rights of the school management to have maximum autonomy in day-to-day administration, including the right to admit students.

The lieutenant governor issued guidelines Dec 18, 2013, after which a number of petitions were filed against them.

The guidelines outlined several criteria, including the neighbourhood factor, which sought that schools give preference to children living within eight km of it. This criterion was given the maximum weightage of 70 points out of 100 in open category seats.

Other criteria were siblings studying in the same school (20 points), applications of girls (five points), and wards of school alumni (five points).

Seeking that the single judge bench`s order be quashed, the pleas said there cannot be any discrimination, question of autonomy in the matter of admitting children around three years of age in nursery.

The plea said: "The judge erred to hold that if parents are given freedom to choose schools, the good schools would attract more students and would expand and not-so-good schools would lose students."

It said the guidelines were child-centric and deserved to be upheld by law.

The single judge bench quashing the lieutenant governor`s guidelines had said the power to decide the school for a child should lie with the parents and not with the government.

The court had said it nowhere stipulates that "children would have to take admission only in a neighbourhood school or that children cannot take admissions in schools situated beyond their neighbourhood".

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