Quota in play schools: HC slams Delhi govt for non-compliance

The Delhi High Court on Monday termed as "unfortunate" and slammed the Delhi government for failing to devise any mechanism to ensure 25 per cent reservation to poor children in play schools running on land alloted at concessional rates.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday termed as "unfortunate" and slammed the Delhi government for failing to devise any mechanism to ensure 25 per cent reservation to poor children in play schools running on land alloted at concessional rates.

Hearing a plea filed by NGO Justice for All seeking implementation of Right to Education Act in play schools and nurseries, saying they are alloted land by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at concessional rates, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also directed the Directorate of Education (DoE) to ensure that all schools, which have been allotted land, abide by the provision.

It further ordered DoE that if any such school is found in breach of the above then DDA should be immediately intimated.

The persons affected by such an attitude of the respondents are most in need of education and for providing which the aforesaid scheme was devised. Such persons have very little access to justice too.

"We do not expect the weaker sections of the society, for whose benefit the aforesaid scheme of allotment of prime land at concessional rates on the condition aforesaid was devised, to be in the know of the said condition or to claim enforcement thereof.

"It is also not as if the respondents have taken any steps, year after year at the time of admission to schools, to advertise the said scheme so as to make the citizens belonging to the weaker sections of the society aware thereof, to be able to approach the schools who are bound by the said condition," the court said.

It said that instead of achieving the purpose, the scheme "benefitted the allottees of such land who on one hand have been able to acquire prime land at rates much below the prevalent market rate...

"... And on the other hand owing to the respondents not enforcing the condition subject to which such concession was given, being relieved thereof and resultantly being able to also admit students to the said 25 per cent of the seats which were meant for weaker sections of the society, on paid basis."

The court requested Delhi's Lieutenant Governor, who is

also the chairman of DDA, to look into the issue and file an affidavit in this regard before March 31, 2015.

RTE Act, 2009 mandates every recognised school imparting elementary education to admit to the extent of at least 25 per cent of the strength, children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood and provide free and compulsory education to them.  

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