Delhi HC says nursery admissions to go on

Delhi HC stays AAP government’s latest nursery admission norms based on the neighbourhood criterion, says any delay would lead to ‘irreversible situation’


The Delhi government had made it compulsory for the 298 private schools built on DDA land to admit children for nursery schools who live in that neighbourhood. Photo: HT
The Delhi government had made it compulsory for the 298 private schools built on DDA land to admit children for nursery schools who live in that neighbourhood. Photo: HT

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday refused to interfere with the single judge’s interim order staying the Aam Aadmi Party government’s latest nursery admission norms based on the neighbourhood criterion.

Expressing concern that the nursery admission process has already commenced, a bench of chief justice G. Rohini and justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said if the process was stalled, it would lead to an “irreversible” situation.

“Since the issue relates to admission of children in entry-level classes, if the notification (neighbourhood as the sole criterion for deciding the admission) is allowed to be acted upon, it would lead to irreversible situation and in case the notification is ultimately quashed, the consequences would be very complex and serious,” the Delhi HC bench said. “Hence, we do not find any justifiable reason to interfere with the order under appeal.”

The division bench was hearing an appeal filed by the AAP government against a single judge’s 14 February interim order who had stayed the Delhi government’s new 2017-2018 nursery admission norm, observing that “a student’s educational fate can’t be relegated to only his/her position on a map”.

Upholding the decision, the bench had asked a single judge to dispose of the main writ petitions as expeditiously as possible. “We also make it clear that the observations/findings in our order as well as the order under appeal being prima facie in nature shall not come in the way of deciding the main writ petitions,” it added.

The single judge had on 14 February ordered an interim stay on a 7 January notification in the matter till the final disposal of the pleas challenging the Delhi government’s order.

In two directives on 19 December 2016 and 7 January, the Delhi government had made it compulsory for the 298 private schools built on the Delhi Development Authority land to admit children for nursery who live in that neighbourhood or stay within a certain distance from the school.

Maintaining that the order passed by the single judge was “totally wrong”, “erroneous” and “against the law”, the AAP government had urged the division bench to stay the operation of the order.

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