Even as Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed that private schools in the Capital were running an “admission racket” in the guise of management quota, the Delhi High Court on Friday asked the government to take action against the schools involved in malpractices if it has evidence against them.
Mr. Sisodia, who also holds the Education portfolio in the Aam Aadmi Party government, appeared in the High Court during a hearing on writ petitions challenging a recent government order to scrap management quota. He told the court that the decision was taken to do away with “unfair and exploitative criteria” adopted by private unaided schools.
When Mr. Sisodia placed in a sealed cover complaints by parents about demands for exorbitant capitation fees for their children’s admissions, the Bench of Justice Manmohan said the Delhi government should take action against erring schools to its logical end.
“You have full team and administration with you. There is no order from any court stopping you from taking action,” observed the Court, while affirming that it could not accept the complaints in a sealed cover as they were not privileged documents and it will have to reveal the identity of the purported complainants.
Mr. Sisodia said if the people of Delhi supported the government, it could get rid of the menace in a short time.
“We receive 20 to 30 complaints from parents everyday. But if we take action, we fear the schools will remove the children whose parents have complained against them.”
The Bench asked Mr. Sisodia to take prompt action to improve the conditions in government schools so that the parents are not forced to go to private schools for their children’s admissions.
To this, the Deputy Chief Minister said action had been initiated and several government school teachers had been sent abroad for training and orientation.
The Forum for Promotion of Quality Education and the Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools have challenged the Delhi government’s January 6 order scrapping 62 criteria, including management quota, for nursery admissions. The arguments in the case, which remained inconclusive, will continue on Monday.
The Court also observed during the hearing that the January 6 notification should have been issued by or in the name of the Lieutenant-Governor as per the procedure under the law. The Delhi government’s counsel said the decision had been was taken by the Cabinet and the L-G had to act on the aid and advise of the Council of Ministers.
The Aam Aadmi Party government had scrapped 62 “arbitrary and discriminatory” criteria listed by schools on their websites for admissions, but had retained the 25 per cent quota for students belonging to economically weaker sections.
( Source – PTI )