DELHI HIGH COURT STAYS DRAW FOR NURSERY ADMISSION

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed the fresh draw of lots being conducted for admission in nursery classes and asked the city government to furnish all requisite data and details on the issue relating to unaided recognised private schools. “In the meantime, the fresh draw of lots to be conducted in pursuance of the (single judge bench) order dated March 6 shall not take place. We also make it clear no admission shall take place till next date of hearing,” a bench comprising Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said while fixing the appeal for hearing on March 24.

The court was hearing an appeal filed by some parents against the March 6 order of the single judge bench by which Delhi government was
asked to conduct a fresh draw of lots among similarly placed kids who had secured 70 points on the basis of neighbourhood criteria. The
fresh plea has been filed by guardians of 14 children alleging they were already declared selected for nursery admission after the draw of
lots and will have to undergo the same process again in pursuance of the single judge bench order on the issue.

The present dispute started after the Lieutenant Governor (LG) had on February 27 issued an order abolishing 5 points, out of 100, being
awarded to inter-state transfer cases. Maximum 70 points are being awarded to kids who live within eight kilometres of a school.

The single judge found fault with the order though it acknowledged that the government was within their jurisdiction to delete the 5 points on account of inter-state transfer. “However, this court is of the view that all equals have to be treated alike and all children who have secured equal points should participate in a single draw of lots.” The single judge had directed that candidates having equal marks be considered equally by conducting a fresh draw of lots, wherever necessary. The present appeal, filed through lawyers Sakal Bhushan and Surendra Kumar, has sought setting aside of March 6 order saying, “A large number of draws have already been held and wards of appellants have been selected for admission.”

The plea said the single judge had grossly erred in passing the order completely ignoring that a large number of draws have already been
held and wards of people like the present appellants have been selected for admission. It also said the fact that any interim order, at this stage, would cause inconvenience and mental agony to the parents of successful kids was overlooked. “If those persons who have earlier secured 75 points because of inter-state transfer criteria  have to be again considered, they should be considered by a fresh draw of lots to be held amongst themselves along with the remaining applicants having 70 points and not at the cost of the appellants herein who had already participated in the
draw of lots earlier held validly for those applicants securing 70 points,” it said.