Barely a week after the High Court cleared the decks, nursery admission in Delhi schools were put on hold again on Friday — this time by the Supreme Court.
Ushering in another spell of uncertainty and confusion for parents as well as schools, the apex court stayed the HC directions on April 3.
By its order last week, the HC had allowed resumption of the process, and confirmed the admission of those who were selected in the first round of draw of lots, after scoring 70 points and more.
While parents of those children who got admission in multiple schools were granted time until April 9 to choose one school, those who had sought to avail five points under the inter-state transfer (IST) quota were asked to wait until April 16, the next date of hearing.
However, on a petition by parents wanting to avail IST quota points, a bench of Justices H L Dattu and S A Bobde on Friday issued notices to the Delhi government.
“In the meantime, the operation of the impugned order shall remain stayed until further orders,” the bench said.
Since the Supreme Court has not fixed its next date of hearing, the proceeding in the High Court is likely to be postponed on April 16, awaiting a final word from the apex court.
Friday’s order is virtually a restraint on any further admissions in Delhi schools until another order is passed.
Senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta told the bench that according to the SC ruling, “the rules of a game cannot be changed once the game has started”, but in the present case, the IST quota was scrapped by an order of the Lt-Governor after the selection lists were prepared.
He said following the L-G’s notification of February 27, such parents had to vacate seats allotted to their wards even after they were successful in draw of lots held as per earlier guidelines for admission.
The petition said although the High Court has fixed the matter for April 16, their fate had been virtually sealed since seats that had been vacated by them will now be allotted to others, who had 70 points or more under different categories.
Those in IST category also had 75 points. It also pointed out that since they had already applied under the IST category, they were being treated as a different class altogether. So, while other children can get admitted on 70 points, their children, despite having equal points (75-5= 70) were not entitled.
The petitioners have also challenged the February 27 notification, by which the IST category was scrapped, saying the basis for making a change in criteria was illegal as the purported reason for the same was that a number of fake applications had been submitted by people claiming transfer points.