The Delhi High Court on fixed February 27 for pronouncement of its order on AAP government’s appeal against a single judge’s interim order staying its new nursery admission norms based on the neighbourhood criterion. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, however, extended its interim order allowing 298 private unaided schools here to go ahead with the nursery admission process.
It said that the order on Delhi government’s appeal will be passed on February 27, but the entire process to admit kids in nursery will be subject to the final outcome of the matter. The division bench was hearing an appeal filed by the AAP government against a single judge’s February 14 interim order.
The single judge had stayed Delhi government’s new nursery admission norm, saying “a student’s educational fate can’t be relegated to only his/her position on a map”. Terming the criterion as “arbitrary and discriminatory”, Justice Manmohan had said it benefitted only those parents who live close to good private schools.
Challenging the interim order, the Delhi government said that in the absence of the neighbourhood criterion, schools will accept admission in an arbitrary and opaque manner, and even justify charging exorbitant fees. Maintaining that the order passed by the single judge was “totally wrong”, “erroneous” and “against the law”, they urged the division bench to stay on the operation of the order.
In two directives on December 19, 2016 and January 7, the Delhi government had made it compulsory for the 298 private schools built on Delhi Development Authority land to admit children for nursery who live in that neighbourbood or stay within a certain distance from the school.
The single judge had ordered an interim stay of the January 7 notification till the final disposal of the pleas challenging the Delhi government’s order. The two associations, representing the schools and the parents, had alleged that the Delhi government has “discriminated” among schools as the neighbourhood criteria had been applied against only 298 schools and not been made mandatory for 1,400 other schools in the city.
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