Delhi moves HC against quashing LG’s admission guidelines

New Delhi : The city government Thursday moved the Delhi High Court, challenging the decision of a single judge bench to quash the Lt. Governor’s guidelines of last year on nursery admissions in unaided private schools of the capital.

The appeal was filed by the government against the order which quashed the guidelines issued by the Lt. 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.

Support TwoCircles

Justice Manmohan Nov 28 quashed the points system, saying it was a “violation of the fundamental rights of the school management”.

He said 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 Lt. 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 a radius of eight km from 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 city government 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.”

NGO Social Jurist had also challenged the court’s decision, saying there was no question of schools’ autonomy in the matter of admission of tiny tots.

The appeal filed by the NGO will come up for hearing Friday.

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

The single judge bench quashing the Lt. 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 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”.