Delhi High Court today issued notice in a plea seeking admissions students under EWS quota for the 2021-22 session.

A Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakder and Justice Talwant Singh orally remarked that RTE Act was introduced to reduce social disparities "but still there is a roadblock in people's minds as to how a driver's child can sit with my child. Schools will change and people will change".

This remark was made when the standing counsel for the Delhi Government Santosh Kumar Tripathi pointed out that private schools are not performing their duty under Section 12 of the RTE Act when Delhi Government is reimbursing the amount to the private unaided schools in case of admissions of EWS students.

Advocate Khagesh Jha appeared for the petitioners.

Khagesh Jha contended that 25% of the students that need to be admitted under the EWS category as mandated under Section 12 of the RTE Act is not being fulfilled and as a result, many children belonging to Scheduled Caste, Schedule Tribe, orphans, and children with special needs are left in a lurch.

He relied on data to show that out of 1,88,767 students only 31,000 are being admitted under the EWS category and that is way less than 47000 under the mandate of 12(1) (c) of the RTE Act.

Santosh Tripathi contended that 25% of admissions must be granted to the EWS category but is not being maintained as 31st December is fixed as a cutoff date to admit students.

To this, Bench remarked that RTE Act doesn't fix a cutoff date.

The Counsel responded that there is an order of a single judge of the court that fixes 31st December as a cutoff date and it has already been challenged. He also contended that private unaided schools are not fulfilling their duties to grant admissions.

To this, the Bench responded that it is an ongoing battle and it will not end today. The Delhi Government can evolve a mechanism where a system of monitoring private unaided educational institutions is devised, the Court said.

In its order, the Bench directed the NCPCR and the DCPR to file their replies and the petitioner to file an amended memo of parties.

The plea claims to highlight the violation of fundamental rights of over 50,000 children, of EWS category waiting for admission since April 2021 and victims of the government inaction to perform their duty imposed with them under the provisions of articles 19(1)(a), 21 and 21A of Constitution of India read with the provisions of section 12(1)(c) of RTE Act, 2009.

Case Title: Justice For All V. Hon'ble LG of Delhi &Ors