The Bombay High Court has quashed the Order canceling admissions granted to five 11-year-old students at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya School.

The bench of Justice G.S.Patel and Justice Neela Gokhale was dealing with a plea by five 11-year-old students through their parents and natural guardians. In 2020, the Petitioners sent their applications to participate in the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test–2021 for admissions.

In the test, all five Petitioners appeared. The results were declared and all Petitioners were selected for admission. Their names were in the merit list, following which they were granted admissions.

Six weeks later, an order was passed one for each Petitioner and the subject line of each order is about the ‘cancellation’ of admission for each of the five Petitioners.

The impugned orders set out four distinct reasons for cancellation including that the Petitioners obtained admission ‘in the middle of’ Standard V. It was also stated that to obtain admission students have to meet ‘eligibility criteria’.

Advocate Prasad Bhavake appeared for the petitioners whereas Advocate Neeta Masurkar appeared for Respondent.

The Court noted that it was not explained how the Petitioners’ forms were accepted or they were granted admission without an eligibility check or scrutiny.

The Court further noted that “As to the question of delay and laches, we are unable to understand how this can ever be taken by a body that is set up to promote education and to use it against students seeking an education.”

The Court also observed that “We are also unable to understand in a case like this whether the objective of Respondents is to assist students in getting an education, particularly in stressful and unprecedented time such as Covid or to blindly adopt some hyper-technical approach to deny education to those entitled in law to it.”

The Court noted that nobody will benefit from the cancellation of those seats and that only the five additional seats will fall vacant.

Thus the Court quashed the Order canceling admissions granted to the Petitioners and directed the Respondents to forthwith grant the admissions of Petitioners.

Cause Title- PVA v. The Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti & Ors.

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