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Inter-state nursery seats: SC favours only those parents who moved court

The bench said that all such parents and guardians who have come to the SC will get relief for their children.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | May 2, 2014 10:21:01 pm
The admissions in nursery has been stalled in the city by the SC on April 11. The admissions in nursery has been stalled in the city by the SC on April 11.

Parents who have moved court against the Delhi government’s decision to scrap the Inter-State Transfer (IST) quota are set to get their toddlers admitted in nursery this academic year.

Supporting the parents whose genuine cases suffered after the Lt-Governor quashed the quota, the Supreme Court on Friday held that it will pass orders for the government and schools for accommodating all such bonafide wards by increasing number of seats in the schools, if required.

A bench led by Justice H L Dattu said that all such parents and guardians who have come to the SC or have their cases pending before the Delhi High Court will get relief for their children.

But, “fence-sitter” parents will not have any say in the matter since they chose not to come to the court and waited for the outcome of petitions by others, the bench, while refusing to pass any “general order”, clarified.

The court took on record the submission by government counsel Raju Ramachandran that it was not possible to increase the number of seats by 5-7 in each school for the IST category. Responding to the court’s query, Ramachandran said the inability to increase seats had emerged following deliberations with the Lt-Governor and the schools.

At this, the bench questioned the government’s justification to come up with a new notification even after the admission process had been completed on the basis of its previous notification. It said the government’s step to quash the quota after the applications had already been processed was not right.

“Your previous notification, saying reject those cases where there was slightest of the doubt, was correct. But when you say that most of the cases could be doubtful, so throw out all of them, we think that is impermissible and impossible. We cannot allow that,” the bench said.

The bench then requested Ramachandran to assist it as an officer of the court and not as a lawyer for the government. The counsel subsequently agreed that bonafide cases should get relief and suggested that available number of seats should be considered to accommodate maximum possible children.

But, the bench was of the view that the children should get admissions “as a matter of their right”, and this could not be curtailed by the availability of seats.

The bench then asked senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, who appeared for a bunch of parents, to produce a list of those who have moved the courts and fixed the case for Monday to pass appropriate orders.

“We make it clear that this will not be a general order. Parents cannot sit on the fence and wait for an order of this court. We cannot pass a general and omnibus order. Let the petitioner here give a list of cases filed here and in the HC, as well as the intervention applications filed as on yesterday,” it said.

The admissions in nursery has been stalled in the city by the SC on April 11 after some parents challenged the February 27 notification, scrapping the IST quota. They had come to the apex court after the HC allowed admissions without considering the IST cases.

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