Putting an end to the stalemate over nursery admission in the capital, the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed schools to go ahead with the admission process after accommodating 24 children, whose parents had sought seats under the inter-state transfer (IST) category.
The court drew the curtains on the uncertainty brought about by the Delhi government’s decision to scrap the IST quota and directed the administration to accommodate eligible students in various schools by increasing the number of seats, if required.
“However, it is made clear that this order would only ensure benefit to those who had approached the court. It would certainly not extend the benefit to those who had not approached the court or might have gone in slumber,” Justice M Y Eqbal said while authoring the order.
The court had already made it clear on a previous date that “fence-sitter” parents were not entitled to any relief. It had asked senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, who represented the petitioner parents, to hand over a list of children whose parents had sought relief from the court.
Gupta a day ago submitted a list of 24 children, whose parents had moved the SC or the Delhi High Court against scrapping of the IST quota.
It said the order was being issued to relieve parents from the hardship of getting deprived of admission for their wards that was granted as per the notification of December 18, 2013, but was subsequently taken away by the February 27 notification, quashing the quota.
“In our considered opinion, it was not permissible for the administration to alter the basis of admission after the admission process had started and, further, having participated in the selection process, the criteria for selection could not have been questioned by unsuccessful participants,” the bench held.
The court, which had on April 11 stalled the admission process on appeals by parents, directed that admission already granted to children as per the previous notification shall not be disturbed.
“These children shall continue their study in those schools where they got admitted or selected for admission. It goes without saying that the administration shall take steps to accommodate these students in various schools within its jurisdiction by increasing the number of seats in such schools,” it said.
The court found favour with the arguments of Gupta that it would not be proper for children whose parents have been transferred to Delhi from different states to be denied admission in schools, much less in non-aided schools. It reminded the authorities that imparting elementary and basic education was a constitutional obligation on states as well as societies running educational institutions.