Scrap quota within quota in schools: HC

Court pulls up Kendriya Vidyalayas

The Delhi High Court on Friday pulled up Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan for promoting reservation within reservation which is in violation of the Right to Education Act.

KVS has been reserving 22.5 per cent for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes within the 25 per cent reservation for the economically weaker section (EWS) category.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Rajiv Shai Endlaw declared that clause 5(3) of KVS’s 2011-12 admission guidelines in class 1 regarding 22.5 per cent reservation for SC and STs is “illegal and contrary to RTE Act, 2009”.

The court has asked KVS to reframe its guidelines for the 2013-14 academic session.
Social Jurist, a civil rights group, had filed a public interest litigation through Ashok Agarwal, senior advocate and RTE campaigner, challenging the legality of these guidelines which initiated quota within quota for children belonging to the disadvantaged groups.

The court rejected KVS’ arguments that it has powers under law to introduce reservation within reservation and accepted Agarwal’s argument that KVS’ reservation of nine seats for the SC and ST categories of a total of 10 seats under the EWS category.

“Ten seats were earmarked representing 25 per cent of the seats under section 12(1) of the act. As 15 per cent of the seats were allotted to SC candidates, i.e, six students were admitted under the said category and 7.5 per cent seats were allotted to ST candidates, therefore three seats were to be allotted to ST candidates, leaving only one seat for the children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group,” pointed out the bench in their judgement.

“According to RTE, the EWS reservation should give equal weightage to children from SC, ST, Other Backward Classes, disabled and other disadvantaged groups,” said Agarwal.
He further pointed out that several states have introduced quota within quota while framing state-specific rules which will have to be amended.

Through the petition, Agarwal had also asked for a direction to consider admission taken during 2011-12 academic session but the court said, “As the academic year is already over, we are not inclined to issue such a direction.”

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