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In a setback to AAP government, Delhi High Court today upheld its single judge order staying its decision to scrap management quota as well as 11 other criteria for nursery admissions in private unaided schools of the national capital.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath dismissed the appeal of Delhi government against the single- judge order, saying, “The appeal is devoid of any merit and the same is accordingly dismissed.”
The bench concurred with the findings of its single judge February 4 interim order, staying the AAP government’s January 6, 2016, order on 11 admission criteria scrapped by it. “The single judge is justified in arriving at a prima facie conclusion that the order dated January 6, 2016, issued by the Directorate of Education (DoE) is without authority of law. Consequently, the order dated January 6, 2016, has been rightly stayed by the single judge,” the division bench said. The bench also said, “The interim stay has been granted with respect to 11 criteria out of the 62 and the management quota,” making it clear that the allegations of malpractice should be investigated and taken to their logical conclusion.
The 11 criteria include those relating to the proven track records of parents, their proficiency in music or sports, their empirical achievements, the gender of the child and whether the kid was the first-born or adopted.
The single judge was of the prima facie view that Delhi government’s January 6 order, scrapping a total of 62 criteria and management quota, was “issued without any authority” and was in “direct conflict” with the Lieutenant Governor’s 2007 order on nursery admissions in private unaided schools.
The judge had also said the court was of the prima facie view that “there is nothing in the 11 criteria which would show that they are unreasonable or based on whims and fancies and/or they can lead to mal-administration.”
DoE had contended before the division bench that its January 6 order scrapping many admission criteria and management quota “was validly and lawfully” issued to ensure that admissions to entry-level classes like nursery are made in a “fair and reasonable” manner.
It had claimed that the decision was taken “without any view to interfering in the autonomy of private schools”. The single judge order had come on the pleas filed by Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools and Forum for Promotion of Quality Education For All, seeking quashing of government’s decision to scrap management and all other quotas, except for EWS in Delhi’s private unaided schools for nursery admissions.