HC asks Centre about policy regarding pvt schools on govt land

HC asks Centre about policy regarding pvt schools on govt land

NEW DELHI (INDIA): Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to spell out its policy regarding private schools running on land alloted to them by government at concessional rates across the country.nnJustice Manmohan issued notice to the Ministries of Human Resource Development and Urban Development seeking their replies on whether there was any neighbourhood criteria for admission in schools.nnThe court wished to know the Centre’s stand during the hearing of pleas challenging the Delhi government’s notification that made 298 private schools, built on DDA land, accept admission forms based only on the neighbourhood or distance criteria.nnThe court also sought to know the stand of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Land and Development Office here, on the neighbourhood criteria set by the AAP government under which admissions have been restricted to the area where these institutions are located.nnIt said the authorities would have to clarify their stand as the land to the private schools were given by them.nnThe court had in its interim order on January 13 allowed parents to fill up application forms of various schools based on the criteria set by them as well as the AAP government.nnThe court had said it was passing the order to ensure that admission was “not hampered” and that scrutiny of the application forms would be subject to further orders.nnMeanwhile, the court today commenced arguments on pleas by parents, schools and forum, who have challenged a condition in the letter allotting DDA land to them under which admissions have been restricted to the institutions’ locality.nnDuring arguments which went on for over two hours, Forum for Promotion of Quality Education, submitted before the court that the restriction in DDA allotment letters was “illegal, arbitrary, unenforceable and unconstitutional” and sought that it be quashed.nnWhile dealing with two other petitions relating to private minority unaided schools here, the court said the Delhi government cannot “enforce” such institutes to follow January 7 notification regarding neighbourhood criteria for nursery admissions as it was prima facie “contrary to constitutional mandate.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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