Rapping the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for not maintaining a proper record of private schools on its land, the Delhi High Court Tuesday issued a notice of contempt to the DDA Director (Institutional Land). The court was hearing a plea filed by Khagesh Jha, counsel for NGO, Justice for All, against non-implementation of the court’s earlier order dated November 24, 2016. According to the direction, DDA had to ensure that private schools on its land implement the rule of reserving 25 per cent of the seats for the Economically Weaker Sections. After the counsel for DDA on Tuesday submitted a list of private schools on DDA land, a bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice N Chawla said the list merely comprised names of plots. “What is the address of the plot. It has been developed by you. Don’t you know it?” the bench said.
The counsel said there were around 272 schools which were allotted land over two decades ago. But he added that DDA would coordinate with societies, besides getting the lease deeds from officials concerned. “We don’t want any excuses… This is what you have been telling us… Once you make an allotment, don’t you maintain a file? You cannot give a list and wash your hands off… Whom are you helping?… Let the gentleman (DDA director) come…” the bench said, issuing the notice.
During the proceedings, the DDA submitted an additional list of schools to which the bench said it also did not have the requisite information. “There is no name of school. Nothing. What is the mechanism and monitoring?… Prime land has been given on concessional basis,” it said.
Meanwhile, after being summoned by the court, Director of Education Saumya Gupta underlined the successful implementation of a centralised computer system at entry-level in schools. She said 1,13,000 applications were received for around 30,000 seats in 2017, following which more than 20,000 students have already been admitted. “We did not allow anything manually,” she said adding that parents were being updated after admission through the system.
“At first blush, it seems to be working. What about the dropouts?” the bench asked. The secretary then said the directorate was planning to develop a similar software which would calculate, in every quarter, the number of dropouts. The matter has been listed for hearing on August 2.