In another blow to the Delhi government, the Delhi High Court Friday stayed its December order fixing four years as the “maximum age” for nursery admission in private unaided schools. A day earlier, the court had stayed the government’s order to scrap management quota.
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The order dated December 18, 2015 is stayed. All children above four years desirous of seeking admission in nursery/pre-school for the academic year 2016-17 shall be entitled to apply for admission on or before Tuesday, February 9, 4 pm,” said Justice Manmohan.
The court also directed all private schools to “accept hard copies of the applications” along with the online ones.
It added that all schools should upload the final lists with the marks/points secured by each child by February 12, as the schedule released by the government slated February 15 for the release of the first admission list.
Noting that the order had been issued “on the eve of the admission process”, the court said the government “cannot take its citizens, especially children, by surprise”.
The bench also held that the order “virtually has a retrospective effect” since parents of a child who would turn four before March 31 this year could not have known that such a rule would be issued by the government.
“Parents have the right to get their child admitted to nursery in this academic year,” held the court.
The bench also accepted the argument raised by advocate Akhil Sachar and Ashok Aggarwal that it would be “virtually impossible” for a parent to get their child admitted directly to Class I as “every schools prefers to give priority” to their own students for promotion to higher classes.
The court also raised the issue of legality — whether the order had been correctly issued and if the Lieutenant Governor’s approval was required.
But it agreed to not include the issue in the order after senior advocate Guru Krishna Kumar said it would “expand the argument” and such an order should not be passed without a detailed hearing.
The directions have been issued while hearing five separate pleas filed by parents of children who will turn four before March 31.
The pleas, filed through advocate Akhil Sachar, said the court Thursday had allowed another plea by the parents of a four-year-old to get
The Directorate of Education also argued that the decision to fix an upper age limit had been taken after consultations with an expert committee regarding mental capacity and development of a child.