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'Reservation within reservation' illegal, says court

Friday November 09, 2012 08:06:37 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday called "illegal" the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan's 2011-12 admission guidelines giving reservation to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes within the 25 percent seats reserved for economically-weaker sections.

Observing that admission guidelines were violative of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, a division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw directed the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to reframe its guidelines for academic year 2013-14.

The court order came on a petition challenging the legality of the KVS's 2011-12 admission guidelines for Class 1 for the disadvantaged group and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) that introduced 22.5 percent seats for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) out of the 25 percent seats reserved for children belonging to disadvantaged groups and EWS.

"We are inclined to accept the case and declare that Clause 5(3) of the admission guidelines for admission to the school in Class I in the academic year 2011-12 introducing reservation to the extent of 22.5 percent of total seats for SC/ST out of 25 percent seats reserved for children belonging to disadvantaged group and economically weaker section is illegal and contrary to the provisions of the said act," said the bench.

"The petitioner has prayed for appropriate direction directing the school to reframe its admission guidelines. For the reasons, we direct the school to reframe its guidelines for admissions in the ensuing academic year 2013-14," it said.

The petitioner, advocate Ashok Aggarwal, had alleged that the KVS's 2011-2012 admission guidelines for admission to Class 1 for the disadvantaged groups and EWS violated the Right to Education Act.

The court opined that if these guidelines were to be implemented, the children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups would be "deprived of their legitimate share in the admission" and the classification would amount to "discrimination" among disadvantaged children.

"In the event the classification made by the school through its guidelines is implemented, the resultant position would be only to frustrate the provision of the act whereby children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group would be deprived of their legitimate share in admission," the court said.

The petition had said that this was not permissible under the Right to Education Act since it translated into "reservation within reservation" and was invalid.





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