New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said the Centre and the city government cannot "dilute" the the Right to Education Act by allowing unaided private schools to formulate their own criteria for nursery admissions. "You (HRD Ministry and Delhi government) cannot the dilute the provision of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (commonly referred to as Right To Education). By allowing them (schools) to formulate their own admission criteria, you are giving preference to one child over another, which is against the Act," a bench comprising Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain said.
The court also said the whole ongoing nursery admission process here would "go" if it decides to "quash" the notification issued on December 15, 2010 by the Directorate of Education (DoE) on behalf of Delhi government. Ashok Agarwal, appearing for NGO Social Jurist which has filed the PIL, said the notification has "given a totally free hand to all unaided recognised private schools to formulate their own nursery admission criteria based on categorisation of children....".
"This is contrary to Section 13 of the Act which says that there would be no screening process of either parents or of kids and no child would be discriminated against. It also provided that admission would be taken by way of draw of lots and the neighbourhood would be only criteria," he said adding separate guidelines cannot be framed by schools.
Despite the provision being "clear", the schools have been formulating their own guidelines and according preferences on grounds such as religion, alumni and sibling. This is not permissible as it propagates discrimination, he said. The court would hear the case tomorrow also.