The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to issue advertisements in leading newspapers informing prospective students about remaining un-filled general category seats in various private schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where they can be accommodated in the corresponding higher classes. The high court’s order came while taking note that several petitions from almost every private school in Delhi have come with a grievance that despite their best efforts they were not able to fill up all the available general category seats in the entry-level class in the academic session 2020-2021 on account of the pandemic of COVID-19.
On a court’s query to the counsel for the Delhi government and a private school as to whether these seats in the general category can be filled now as all the schools have reopened physically, they submitted that an attempt can be made to fill the seats by the issuance of a public notice in this regard by the Directorate of Education (DoE).
The respondents (Delhi government and DoE) are, with the consent of the parties, directed that advertisements be issued by the respondents in all leading newspapers within one week, informing the prospective students that since some general category seats in the entry-level classes in various private schools had remained un-filled in the last academic session, therefore, students can now be accommodated in the corresponding higher classes in the said schools in the current academic session, for which applications may be made to the schools within ten days, Justice Rekha Palli said.
The court said the advertisement will clearly state that the details of the schools having unfilled general category seats, against which admission can be granted to students, can be accessed on the website of the DoE. The court’s order came while hearing a plea by private school Aadharshila Vidyapeeth challenging an order passed by the authorities by which its representation seeking exemption from admitting further Economically Weaker Section (EWS) students allotted by the respondents for admission to entry-level classes in academic session 2021-2022 had been rejected.
Advocate Jyoti Taneja and Bhavya Vijay Tangri, representing the petitioner school, submitted that the order passed by the authorities was wholly perverse and had been passed without properly appreciating the extensive steps taken by the school to try and fill all the general category seats available with it in the entry class for the academic session 2020-2021. The court issued notice to the Delhi government and Directorate of Education, represented through standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi and Aditya S Jadhav, and asked them to file a counter affidavit in response to the plea in 10 days. The court listed the matter for further hearing on May 30.