15 percent free seats must, court tells schools


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Wednesday reiterated its direction to the public schools, built on subsidised government land, to evolve a consensus among them to reserve at least 15 percent of seats for free studentship.

Support TwoCircles

A bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice S.N. Agrawal reiterated Tuesday's direction, dismissing the plea by the counsel of a public school for ten percent free seats.

Dismissing the plea, the bench said, "The government has already lowered the requisite quota from 25 percent to 20 percent. Lowering it below 15 percent would not be proper. Fifteen percent of seats for the poor in schools built on subsidised government land would be proper."

The bench asked the schools, contesting the Delhi government's notification to reserve 20 percent of their seats for the poor to inform the court by Monday if they are willing to accept this proposal.

"The private unaided schools should arrive at a consensus to provide free education to at least 15 per cent poor students this year. From next year the schools would have to give 15 per cent apart from the admission to the wards of the employees," said the bench.

While adjourning the matter till May 14, the court said, "Take instructions from the school managements and come before us. We will pass an order before May 31, the day court goes on vacation."

A court-appointed committee too had recommended for reservation of at least 20 percent of the seats in all the 361 public schools, built on subsidised public land, for the poor after the Delhi government notified its order on the issue.

Some public schools had approached the Delhi High Court on Jan 31 this year, challenging the Delhi government's notification.

The government had issued the notification after the high court had directed it to implement the provisions in the lease deeds for the land allotted to the schools to reserve 20 percent of their seats for the poor students.