New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said it will pass order Dec 10 on the pleas challenging a single-judge bench's decision to quash the Lt. Governor's guidelines of last year on nursery admissions in the capital's unaided private schools.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw reserved the order for Wednesday on applications that sought interim suspension of the single judge bench's order.
The Delhi government and NGO Social Jurist have filed appeals against the judge's order which quashed the guidelines issued last year by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung.
The order said that the neighbourhood, sibling and alumni criteria set as per the notification will go and schools can now set their own criteria according to the 2007 Ganguly Committee guidelines.
On Nov 28, Justice Manmohan quashed the points system, saying the guidelines were in violation of the fundamental rights of the school managements to have maximum autonomy in day-to-day administration, including the right to admit students.
The Lt. Governor issued the guidelines Dec 18, 2013, after which a number of petitions were filed against them.
The guidelines outlined several criteria, including the neighbourhood factor, which sought that schools give preference to children living within eight km of it.
This criterion was given the maximum weightage of 70 points out of 100 in the open category seats.
Other criteria were siblings studying in the same school (20 points), applications of girls (five points), and wards of school alumni (five points).
Seeking that the single judge bench's order be quashed, the Delhi government and NGO Social Jurist said there cannot be any discrimination, question of autonomy in the matter of admitting children around three years of age in nursery.
The plea said: "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 not-so-good schools would lose students."
It said the guidelines were child-centric and deserved to be upheld by law. The single judge bench quashing the lieutenant governor`s guidelines had said the power to decide the school for a child should lie with the parents and not with the government.
The court had said it nowhere stipulates that "children would have to take admission only in a neighbourhood school or that children cannot take admissions in schools situated beyond their neighbourhood".