The Delhi High Court today sought responses from the Centre, city government and Sanskriti school on a plea challenging an order of Lt Governor that allowed the institution to reserve seats for children of bureaucrats.
Justice Manmohan also issued notice to LG Najeeb Jung and sought his response as to why an exception to the nursery admission rules for the school has been allowed.
The school, situated at Chanakyapuri here, has allegedly reserved 60 per cent seats for the wards of persons belonging to government services, especially the All India Services.
The court, however, refused to stay the admission process of the school saying, "It can't be stalled as you have come at the eleventh hour."
"I can't stay it. I did not allow the plea of private schools against the admission guidelines as the order was upheld by the division bench as well," Justice Manmohan said.
The order came on the plea of a three-year-old girl's lawyer father, Dheeraj Kumar Singh, who contended that the Lt Governor's Recognized Schools (Admission Procedure for Pre-primary Class) Order 2013 "permits specific government services and more particularly All India Services an unfettered and unrestricted right to reserve seats for their wards".
The plea alleged that the Lt Governor's order "has been necessitated to provide legal sanctity to admission procedure adopted by schools like Sanskriti".
Sumeet Pushkarna, appearing for the Centre, argued that since many such schools would be affected if the LG's order is quashed hence, other schools be also made parties.
He said a similar issue is pending before a larger bench.
Meanwhile, in another nursery admission related case, Justice Rajiv Shakdher today directed a private school to admit a child who was earlier denied admission on criterion of distance.
The court said the child, who was wrongly awarded 27 points, be given nine extra points which includes three each on the criterion of distance, cultural integrity and his parents' association with an NGO.
The private school had given admission to children with minimum 31 points. The school on its part contended that it has been making the reservation "irrespective" of the December 18, 2013, amendment order by which the earlier one of 2007 was modified.
In his petition, Dheeraj Singh sought quashing of the 2013 order to the extent it inserts a provision, clause 14(d), that allows schools specially set up for specific government services to reserve seats for the children of persons working in such jobs, on the ground that the provision violates right to education and is thus unconstitutional.
He also sought setting aside the reservation or admission policy of Sanskriti school, saying criteria for allocation of seats adopted by it is "clothed by the so-called legal sanctity provided by the amendment" and as a result leaves only 14 out of total 140 seats for general category.
He said these seats would be further reduced as "five per cent seats to be allocated to girl child are to be culled out from the share of the general category and civil services combined".
Singh also alleged in his petition that "the mere fact that the school is being managed by the spouses of senior government officers and headed by the wife of the Cabinet Secretary, Government of India does not grant the Group A officers the unrestricted right to reserve a huge chunk of seats for their own wards".