Reserve 25 pc for poor in every class: HC
Schools admitting new students to any class will have to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged group following the mandate of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Delhi High Court has held.
A bench comprising acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw passed the order after a PIL (public interest litigation) was filed by an NGO apprehending that schools making admissions were not following the reservation criterion set by the RTE Act. The court had also sought clarification from the Department of Education (DoE) regarding reservation of seats in schools.
The bench further explained that the schools, which are imparting pre-school education, would have to provide 25 per cent reservation to children belonging to EWS and disadvantaged groups at the pre-school level.
The schools, which do not have pre-school education and are admitting children in class I, should provide 25 per cent reservation to children belonging to weaker section and dis-advantaged groups.The bench also pointed that the interpretation given by it was in consonance with the historic judgment the Supreme Court upholding the Constitutional validity of the RTE Act. The Act is to be applied from the academic year 2012-13.
NGO Social Jurist approached the court seeking direction for enforcement of certain facets of the RTE Act.
It referred to an order issued by Delhi government’s Director of Education (DOE) on May 18, which had deferred the direction to schools for filling vacant seats under the EWS and disadvantaged category in classes other than pre-school and pre-primary, till receipt of clarifications from the Union government’s Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The NGO contended such a deferment would delay the admission to other classes, till beyond the beginning of the academic session, and would lead to the seats remaining vacant for the current academic year.
The DOE submitted that the unaided schools were interpreting the provision of the Act to mean that they are obliged to admit students belonging to EWS and disadvantaged group at entry level only and not at any other level, even if they were making admission at any other levell.
The court clarified the position making it mandatory for the schools to follow the Act by directing them to admit students from that group at each level and not confine it to only at entry level.