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Treat minority schools `differently`: HC to Delhi government

Last Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014 - 20:21

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday stayed the operation of certain provisions of Delhi government`s nursery admission guidelines concerning minority schools, saying these institutions are free to devise their own procedures and should be treated "differently".

Referring to the apex court verdicts and the rights available to minority-run institutions under the Constitution, Justice Manmohan said "treat them differently and the right to administer a minority school also contains the right to devise procedure for admission so long they (procedures) are fair and transparent."

Granting interim relief to Society of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Delhi and the Forum of Minority Schools, which represented nearly 50 institutions, the court said that keeping in view the decisions of the Supreme Court, such schools are "entitled to admit students according to their own procedures so long as they are transparent and fair and accordingly, the impugned notification is stayed."

The minority schools had challenged certain parts of the nursery admission guidelines, 2014-15 that asked them to reserve 5 per cent seats for girl students in co-ed schools.

The guidelines also said seats, which will remain vacant after admitting minority students, be treated as open seats and admission to these seats be done on the basis of the criteria fixed by Delhi government.
The court said "the Constitution framers were aware of all this" and these directions are contrary to the constitutional scheme and "impinged upon the freedom of minority schools."

Meanwhile, unaided recognized private schools today moved the division bench of the High Court, headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, against the order of a single judge which declined them any interim relief by not staying the nursery admission guidelines.
"This (petition) needs detailed hearing. We are simply deferring the hearing without any order," it said.

Delhi government, meanwhile, assured the court that it will not commence the admission process, due to start from January 15, and wait for the judicial order.

First Published: Monday, January 13, 2014 - 20:21

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