"We feel that the appellants (Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools and Forum for promotion of quality education for all) have not shown any immediate injury due to the guidelines ," a bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

While paving the way for resumption of admission process in nursery classes as per the Directorate of Education (DoE) guidelines, the bench cautioned the media against running unverified reports pertaining to its judgement on the issue.

"There was no delay in passing of the judgement," the bench remarked.

The court also made it clear that its observations have no bearing on the final outcome of the petition pending before a single judge bench.

"So far as the larger issue of autonomy and the applicability of the government's guidelines on the unaided private schools are concerned, they will be decided by the single judge bench without being influenced by our observations in this judgement," it said.

The private school bodies had moved the larger bench of the High Court against the order of its single judge who had refused to grant them interim relief or stay the notification.

The plea was filed challenging the nursery admission guidelines issued by the Lieutenant Governor (LG). It had sought setting aside of the 2014-15 guidelines on the ground that the LG office lacked the power to frame them.

It had claimed the guidelines were against the principle of autonomy and the recognized unaided private schools were given the power by the Centre to formulate their own admission criteria for 75 percent seats.

The Central government, Directorate of Education (DoE) and the office of LG were made party in the plea.

Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had on 18 December, 2013, issued new guidelines for nursery admissions for the session 2014-15 and took various steps such as scrapping of 20 percent management quota.

The admission process for nursery classes was to start from January 15 and the last date for submitting applications was January 31.

The Delhi government had earlier told the court that the nursery admission will begin only after an order would be passed on the petitions of the private schools.

The government had termed it as "nationalising the education system" and had contended that nursery admission guidelines issued by the LG giving 70 marks to neighbourhood kids and abolishing 20 percent management quota is ‘against elitism and is a carefully considered decision passed after a reasonable gap of seven years and deserves to be given a fair chance’.

The neighbourhood criteria, which seeks schools to give preference to children living within a radius of six kilometres from school, has been given maximum weightage with 70 points out of 100 in open category seats. Later, the LG enhanced the criteria to eight kilometres.

Besides these, the applicants who have sibling studying in the same school will get 20 points and five points will be added by default in the application of girls and wards of school alumni.

The guidelines also seek the minority schools to have 25 percent seats reserved, like other schools, for economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups of society.


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