The Delhi High Court on Monday deferred the hearing on two appeals against the recent single bench judgment on nursery admissions guidelines till Tuesday. The court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw refused to issue any interim stay order on the judgment and said it would hear the matter in detail.
“This matter requires careful consideration. I will hear it tomorrow,” the Chief Justice said during the brief hearing.
The court declined to hear arguments from former solicitor general P P Malhotra on the need for urgency in the matter, questioning whether there was “anything to show” that the judgment was applicable to this year’s admissions. “You can wait for 24 hours,” the court said.
Meanwhile, sources at the Directorate of Education said the government will issue its timetable for schools to conduct admissions as soon as the court allows.
The single judge had passed the order on November 28. The judge also disposed of two petitions by a committee and a forum representing private schools. The petitions had challenged the Lieutenant-Governor’s December 18, 2013 and December 27, 2013 notifications by which the points-system was introduced.
Contending that the order passed by the single judge as “totally wrong”, “erroneous” and “against the law”, the plea by the DoE said the verdict has not appreciated the correct legal position and scheme of Article 21 (Protection of Life and Personal Liberty) and Article 21-A (Right to Education) of the constitution besides laying undue emphasis on the right of schools.
“The judge erred to hold that if parents are given freedom to choose schools, the good schools would attract more students and would expand and the not-so-good schools would lose students,” the plea said. It contended that there cannot be any discrimination or question of autonomy in the matter of admitting children around three years of age in nursery.