New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday said it was "contrary to the constitution and law" to ask private unaided minority schools to follow the January 7 circular of city government.
The Delhi government circular makes it mandatory for the unaided schools to admit kids in nursery in the unreserved category on the basis of neighbourhood criteria.
Justice Manmohan said: "Delhi government cannot bring out notification which is contrary to the law and contrary to the Constitution and Supreme Court judgments."
"...Some time they just pass orders without reading the statutes and judgments (on private minority institutes)," the court said, with the view that minority schools, which have been given more autonomy in its functioning including admission of students, cannot be told to follow the government's nursery circular.
The court pulled up the government for bringing out notification at the eleventh hour.
The Delhi government on January 7, came out with a circular on nursery admission that made 298 private schools - built on Delhi Development Authority land to accept admission forms based only on the neighbourhood or distance criteria.
As per the circular, the minority schools are to treat unreserved seats as open/general seats in which admission will be conducted on the basis of neighbourhood criteria.
Three private unaided minority schools -- Mount Carmel School, Ryan International School and Somerville School -- have approached the court against the circular saying it infringed their rights to admit students.
The court also said that it was inclined to give a "complete stay" to the notification with regard to minority schools.
While hearing other pleas filed by other unaided private schools, the court issued notice to the Ministries of Human Resource Development and Urban Development seeking their response on if there was any neighbourhood criteria for admission in schools.
The hearing will continue on Friday.