New Delhi: The agonising wait for parents to get their children admitted in nursery was prolonged as the Delhi High Court today said its stay on fresh draw of lots will continue till Friday when it will hear pleas against the admission guidelines.

The court also rejected the data provided by Directorate of Education (DoE) of Delhi Government in pursuance of earlier direction seeking details pertaining to nursery admission in the unaided recognised private schools.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul asked the DoE to file the data afresh containing recent status of seats and other aspects related to the nursery admission.

During the brief hearing, the court was not convinced with the reply of government that nursery admission guidelines have been framed after proper deliberations, taking into account all relevant issues including the neighbourhood scheme.

“What about the larger issue? What about the right to education? The issue is simply of demand and supply. Seats are few and demands are more. What are you doing to deal with it,” it said.

“In every academic year, the courts are flooded with such petitions,” the bench said in the packed courtroom.

As per the guidelines, out of 100, 70 points are given kids who reside within 0 to 8 kms of a school. Twenty points to a child whose sibling is studying in the same school and 5 points are earmarked for the kids whose parents were alumni.

Delhi government has recently done away with five points which were being awarded to kids under inter-state transfer category.

The court is hearing several petitions and appeals filed by parents against various aspects of nursery admission.

One of the appeals seek scrapping of 5 and 20 points being awarded to kids falling under alumni and sibling categories respectively saying the kids, having only 70 neighbourhood points, are left with no hope or scope of getting admission.

Another appeal has been filed by some parents against the March 6 order of the single judge bench by which government was asked to conduct a fresh draw of lots among similarly placed kids who have secured 70 points on the basis of neighbourhood criteria.

The petition alleged that kids, who have already declared selected for nursery admission after the draw of lots, will have to undergo the same process again in pursuance of the single judge bench order on the issue.

The present dispute started after the Lieutenant Governor (LG) had on February 27 issued an order abolishing 5 points, out of 100, being awarded to inter-state transfer cases.

The LG’s order had said, “If a school has conducted draw of lots for those applicants securing 70 points, that draw shall remain valid for selected/confirmed candidates only.

“Fresh draw of lots shall be held for remaining applicants having 70 points, including wait-listed applicants and those applicants who were earlier securing 75 points because of ‘inter-state transfer case’ category,” it said.

The single judge found fault with the order and had directed that candidates having equal marks be considered equally by conducting a fresh draw of lots, wherever necessary.

The appeal has sought setting aside of March 6 order saying, “A large number of draws have already been held and wards of appellants have been selected for admission.”

The plea said the single judge had “grossly erred” in passing the order “completely ignoring that a large number of draws have already been held and wards of people like the present appellants have been selected for admission.”

It also said the fact that any interim order, at this stage, would cause inconvenience and mental agony to the parents of successful kids was “overlooked”.

“If those persons who have earlier secured 75 points because of inter-state transfer criteria have to be again considered, they should be considered by a fresh draw of lots to be held amongst themselves along with the remaining applicants having 70 points and not at the cost of the appellants herein who had already participated in the draw of lots earlier held validly for those applicants securing 70 points,” it said.

As per the guidelines, out of the total 100 points, 70 were given if the child lives in the neighbourhood of the school, additional 20 were given if a sibling is studying there, five points more if either parent is an alumni and another five points if it is an inter-state transfer case.

Draw of lots were held at each point level.

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Free Press Journal