The process of nursery admissionsin the city, scheduled to begin from January 15, has been deferred by two days, the Delhi government told the high court on Monday.
Now, nursery admissions from January 17
The schedule was deferred in view of Monday’s brief hearing on a challenge to the new nursery guidelines remaining inconclusive. The government said it would await the outcome of the next hearing on Wednesday. The petition was filed by a group of private schools.
“This (petition) needs detailed hearing. We are simply deferring the hearing without any order,” a division bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Jayant Nath said while hearing the appeal of Action Committee for Unaided Recognized Private Schools against a judge order which refused to stay the notification laying out new criteria for nursery admissions in the capital.
HC declines stay, to hear plea tomorrow
During the hearing, the schools urged the court to grant interim stay on the notification as the admission process will begin from January 15. But after taking into account the assurance given by Delhi government through senior advocate Raju Ramchandran , HC declined to stay the process. It will hear the case on Wednesday and pass appropriate orders.
“We just defer it by two days. Let the matter be taken up on January 15 by a proper bench which will decide the later course,” the court said. The single judge had on January 10 denied any relief to private schools on their plea challenging the December 18 notification of LG Najeeb Jung and claimed it was “absolutely illegal, arbitrary and without jurisdiction” .
According to the new guidelines, admissions will continue to be done on a 100-point basis. But children living within an 8km radius will qualify to get 70 points under the “neighbourhood” criterion. Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul opposed this clause, saying it was against the Ganguly committee recommendations.
“The Ganguly committee had said that you cannot restrict people to one area. Giving 70 points out of 100 to neighbourhood is arbitrary,” the advocate representing schools said, seeking quashing of the notification. The schools said the LG’s order seriously compromises their autonomy and goes against the stand taken by the Centre. They added that “any curtailment of that fundamental right can be made only through a legislative enactment”.
The LG’s notification had also abolished the 20% management quota, taking away the schools’ discretionary powers in the admission process. The schools want the entire 2014-15 guidelines set aside on the ground that LG’s office does not have the power to frame these rules. They also argue that the guidelines are against the principle of autonomy, under which unaided private schools have been given the power by the central government to formulate their own admission criteria for 75% of the seats.