The Delhi High Court came to the rescue of an eight-year-old boy, whose admission was cancelled last year after his businessman father forged documents to get him into Chanakyapuri’s Sanskriti School under the EWS quota in 2013-14. Restoring the minor’s admission, the court observed that the “psychological trauma” of being removed from school will be “irreparable and long-lasting”.
The businessman had posed as a slum dweller of Sanjay Camp — akin to the movie ‘Hindi Medium’ — to secure the admission. The boy was admitted in 2013 under the EWS category. When the documents were found to be fake, his admission was cancelled by the Directorate of Education (DoE).
Justice C Hari Shankar, however, junked the suggestion made by the man’s counsel that even if the allegations against his client were treated as true, recovery of additional fees could be made by treating the boy’s admission under the general instead of EWS category.
“This contention (of the man’s counsel) is, in my view, obviously unacceptable for the simple reason that, if it were to be accepted, it would provide a carte blanche to unscrupulous parents to obtain admission for their wards under the EWS category and, on the fraud being detected, claim that the admission be retained under the general category. This would, obviously, open the floodgates for perpetration of fraud, which no civilised legal system can tolerate…”
The court’s observations came on a plea filed by the minor who, through his father, had approached the High Court seeking quashing of the DoE’s August 13, 2018, direction by which his admission was cancelled as well as the July 20, 2018, showcause notice issued to them.
The DoE’s August 2018 decision was passed in pursuance to the court’s July 2, 2018, order which had quashed the directorate’s March 31, 2018, decision to remove the minor from the school and had ordered his immediate admission. But the court had allowed DoE to re-investigate the matter and take action accordingly. The minor’s counsel had contended that they were not afforded an opportunity to defend themselves and the documents on which the decision was taken were not given to them.
Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Gautam Narayan had contended that the present case was one of colossal fraud perpetrated by the petitioner’s father, whereby a seat which could have gone to a deserving EWS student was effectively hijacked by the petitioner.
Narayan had argued that the minor’s father had put down his annual income as Rs 67,000 by allegedly forging income documents. The voter cards and birth certificates, too, were forged.
Stating that there was lack of procedure on part of the authorities, the judge said: “This court is constrained, yet again, to set aside the decision to cancel the petitioner’s admission… as contained in the order dated August 13, 2018, and restore the said admission.”
It added that “the DoE has proceeded in violation of the principles of natural justice”.