Delhi High Court: In a case filed by a father of a student (‘petitioner’) challenging the validity and constitutionality of a Circular of the Government of NCT of Delhi/respondent 1 dated 27-07-2022 whereby the respondent 1 has mandated minimum 71% marks for admission in Science Stream in Class XI in respondent 2 School for the academic year 2022-23, Chandra Dhari Singh, J. upheld the validity of the circular stating that every school, including schools under State Government , has the liberty and autonomy to maintain the standards it has set out for itself and thus, laying down an eligibility criterion for admission in different classes cannot be said to be arbitrary or illegal.
Counsel for petitioner submitted that the petitioner belongs to OBC Category and shall be eligible for 5% relaxation in marks, as per the terms of Circular dated 07-02-2022, thus securing 81.80% in Class X CBSE examinations 2022, however, she was denied admission in the Science Stream stating the reason that she secured 69 marks in science and admission in Science Stream required a minimum of 71 marks, as per the impugned Circular.
It was also submitted that respondent 1 has issued different circulars for admission in Class XI in different types of schools under it and is hence, creating discrepancy in education between students studying in school run by the Government and is discriminatory in nature and hit by Articles 14, 21 & 21-A.
The Court noted that every school, including schools under the State Government , has the liberty and autonomy to maintain the standards it has set for itself. Laying down an eligibility criterion for admission in different classes cannot be said to be arbitrary or illegal. Moreover, this discretion lies with the school or any other authority under which the said school lies.
The Court further noted that since, the petitioner could not meet the eligibility criteria, she chose to challenge the criteria itself; however, such a challenge does not stand ground since the school had only exercised its discretion to set out the minimum requirements for admission in Class XI.
The Court rejected admission to the petitioner, in so far as the petitioner did not meet the eligibility criteria and nor was the relaxation for SC/ST/OBC and other categories available to her as per the admission requirements of the School, and thus, held that there is no error, illegality or impropriety found in the eligibility criteria provided for in the impugned circular.
[Natural Father Ravinder Singh v. Govt of NCT of Delhi, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2940, decided on 26-08-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For petitioner- Mr. Ashok Agarwal, Mr. Kumar Utkarsh and Mr. Manoj Kumar, Advocates
For respondent- Mr. Santosh K. Tripathi, Standing Counsel (Civil) for GNCTD with Mr. Arun Panwar, Mr. Siddharth Krishna Dwivedi, Mr. Pradeep and Ms. Mahak Rankawat, Advocates for R1/DoE
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.