The Delhi High Court on Wednesday pulled up the government for not taking steps to ensure that three per cent seats be kept vacant in nursery classes for children with special needs. Taking serious note of non-implementation of its earlier orders, a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and R V Easwar asked the Delhi government, through its counsel Zubeda Begum, to implement them “forthwith”.
The bench also directed the government to file an affidavit, indicating the steps taken by it to implement the orders of the court, while giving a warning to it not to take the issue “lightly”.
The court said if no circular, communicating its decision to the schools, is issued by the next date of hearing, the principal secretary concerned be present before it and posted the matter to March 28.
“Don’t take it lightly. By not doing so (issuing the circular), you have rendered our decision infructuous. How will you ensure that three per cent quota is set aside once the stay on admissions is lifted? How will the schools know about our order? Who will be responsible? What are you waiting for? What are you scared of?” the bench asked, when Begum submitted that no harm has been done by non-issuance of the circular as admissions to nursery class have been stayed by the court.
The bench had on February 26 and March 12 ordered three per cent seats be kept vacant for disabled children, which would be filled subject to the outcome of the petition.
The court was on Wednesday informed about non-issuance of the circular to communicate its decision to the schools by petitioner Pramod Arora’s counsel Anshumaan Sahni. Arora has challenged the Lt-Governor’s nursery admission guidelines to the extent it clubs disabled children with those from economically weaker sections (EWS).
Meanwhile, the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities submitted before the bench the draft minutes of a meeting convened by him in furtherance of the court’s order. In the meeting, the participants, including officials from the Ministry of Health and Rural Development, Ministry of Social Justice and Delhi government, came up with a few suggestions, which included earmarking three per cent seats for disabled children first.