Delhi High Court: In a case wherein a petition was filed by an EWS category student who was denied admission in a school under the EWS category, a Single Judge Bench of Mini Pushkarna, J. disposed of the petition and held that belated admission in a particular academic year would be totally dehors the scheme of the Delhi School Education Act and Rules, 1973 and would be counterproductive to the very purpose of reserving seats for children belonging to the EWS category. Further, the Court held that since the last date for admission for EWS category candidates is 31st December of any given academic year, therefore, the EWS category student could not be given admission in the present academic session based on an application filed for the previous academic session.
In the present case, the petitioner complied with all the requisite formalities but still the respondent school had raised frivolous grounds and denied admission to the petitioner under the EWS category. It was also submitted that respondent school had been denying admission to various students who wished to take admission under the EWS category. The petitioner further stated that the respondent school had wrongly stated that the petitioner was not staying at the residence mentioned in her registration form.
Submissions on behalf of the Petitioner
Counsel for the petitioner submitted that petitioner was staying at the same residential address, as written in the application while applying to respondent school under the EWS category. Further, the petitioner stated she submitted an EWS certificate of 2021.
Submissions on behalf of the Respondents
Counsel for the respondent submitted that the petitioner had applied for admission in the academic session 2021-2022 and thereafter, did not apply for the current academic session of 2022-2023. Therefore, the petitioner cannot claim admission in the academic session 2022-2023 based on the application filed for previous academic session 2021-2022. Further, it was submitted that the school was duty bound to carry out the necessary scrutiny/verification of documents produced by the parents to ascertain the eligibility of the applicant under the EWS category but during the scrutiny and verification conducted by the school, it was found that the petitioner was not residing at the address which was mentioned in the registration form.
It was further submitted that the EWS certificate submitted on behalf of the petitioner had expired in 2020, as the same was valid only for six months. Therefore, no admission could have been granted to the petitioner based on the EWS certificate.
Analysis, Law, and Decision
The Court opined that it was clear that the petitioner cannot claim admission in academic session 2022-23 based on an application filed for previous academic session 2021-2022. The Court relied on Neeraj Kumar v. Venkateshwar Global School, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 7842, wherein it was held that on a fair and justifiable interpretation and reading of the provisions of the Right to Education Act, 2009, admissions must take place in a school on or before 31st December of the academic year. Further, the Court held that belated admission in a particular academic year would be totally dehors the scheme of the Delhi School Education Act and Rules, 1973 and would be counterproductive to the very purpose of reserving seats for children belonging to the EWS category.
The Court also relied on Justice For All v. GNCTD1, wherein it was held that the last date for admission for EWS category candidates was 31st December of any given academic year. Thus, the Court held that the petitioner could not be given admission to the present academic session based on an application filed for the previous academic session.
The Court opined that even if the EWS certificate was dated 2021, then also it could not come to the aid of the petitioner for grant of the admission to the current academic session, 2022-2023, as the EWS category certificates issued by the Tehsildar were only valid for six months. Thus, the Court disposed of the petition and gave liberty to the petitioner to obtain a fresh EWS certificate and apply for admission accordingly in the next academic session 2023-2024.
[Bushra Riyaz v. Govt. (NCT of Delhi), 2022 SCC OnLine Del 4648, decided on 19-12-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the Petitioner: Advocate Shoeb Shakeel;
Advocate Vishal Raj Sehijpal;
Advocate Suhail Khan;
Advocate Purushender Bhardwaj;
For the Respondents: Advocate Kamal Gupta;
Advocate Sparsh Aggarwal.
1. Justice For All v. GNCTD, W.P. (C) 3684 of 2013.