Sunday, June 16, 2024

Delhi HC directs pvt school to admit 3 students under EWS category

The Delhi High Court has directed a private school to admit three students under the economically weaker section (EWS) category observing that equal opportunities for students from disadvantaged groups is must to integrate them into mainstream society and receive education alongside other children.

Justice Mini Pushkarna was hearing a contempt petition filed by the three students, who sought compliance with a December 2021 order instructing the school to admit them under the EWS/Disadvantaged Group (DG) category.

The court stated that the limited seats available for EWS/DG students should not be left vacant, as each unoccupied seat represents a denial of quality education to a child from a financially disadvantaged background.

The court noted that denying admission to a child under the EWS/DG category would violate their rights under Article 21A of the Constitution and the Right to Education (RTE) Act of 2009.

The petitioners had participated in the lottery conducted by the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DOE) and were allotted seats at the respondent school.

However, the school denied them admission, citing various objections. For one of the students, the school claimed that their address was untraceable during physical verification.

The judge responded by stating that the child’s disadvantaged background should not be disregarded, and a child living in a rural area or rented accommodation should not be denied admission simply because the DOE’s nominee could not locate their address during verification.

Furthermore, the court noted that the DOE confirmed that no other child had been allotted seats under the EWS/DG category in the concerned school, against the seats assigned to the petitioners.

It stated that the school had an obligation to reserve 25 per cent of its seats for entry-level classes under the RTE Act.

The court concluded that there was no valid reason for the school to deny admission to the petitioners and said that the school could not evade its responsibility under Article 21A of the Constitution, which guarantees free and compulsory education as a fundamental right for children aged 6 to 14 years.

The court directed the three children to approach the school for admission in Class 1 under the EWS/DG category and also the school to process their submitted documents promptly and grant them admission for the current academic session 2023-2024.

20230623-001403

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