SC declines to hear plea against Delhi nursery admission guidelines

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday declined to entertain a plea by private, unaided schools of Delhi seeking putting on hold the Dec 18, 2013 nursery admission guidelines issued by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, and asked the schools’ associations to go back to the high court.

The Forum For Promotion of Quality Education for All (FPQEA) and the Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools (ACURPS) had moved the apex court challenging the Jan 20 Delhi High Court order directing the Delhi government to notify the guidelines and also the date of admissions.
The two associations agitating the cause of nearly 1,100 unaided recognized private school wanted the apex court to stay the operation of the high court order.
As the two were asked to go back to the high court which is still seized of the matter, the bench of Justice H.L.Dattu and Justice S.A. Bobde said the high court would consider the matter as expeditiously as possible.
As the associations urged the apex court to direct the high vourt to advance the hearing of the matter listed for March 11, it permitted them to move an appropriate application before the high court which would consider them and pass appropriate orders.
The petitioners sought the postponement of the Feb 28 date for the release of the first list for admission to nursery schools as it would have to be done on the basis of new criterion. Senior counsel Rohinton Nariman said that postponement for declaring the first list could be done as “fortunately for us there is still time for admission.”
“This will amount to grant of interim relief,” the court said as Nariman submitted that “so long our petition is pending before the high court, we may be allowed to continue with the old system (for admission).
The court remained unmoved as Nariman said that private, unaided recognized schools be allowed to continued with the admission policy that was in operation for last five years subject to the outcome of their petitions challenging the Dec 18 guidelines. He pointed to the anxiety of the schools and that of the parents as well.
Senior counsel Harish Salve said that not only the schools but even the children too would be affected by the change in the guidelines for admission to nursery.
At one stage, the court was told that on Dec 11, 2013, the lt. governor had sought time of six weeks from the high court to put in place the new admission policy and till then old policy was to operate but just within, new admission guidelines were announced.
Jung had Dec 18 issued guidelines that provided for various steps including abolition of 20 percent management quota for the grant of admission and weightage for neighbourhood children to nursery section.