November 11, 2020.
TED NewsDesk, New Delhi: The Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Delhi government on a petition challenging the validity of the Delhi government’s admission guidelines. The guidelines stipulate a maximum age of 17 years for admission to class XI with the relaxation of 1 year, but if there is no gap year, there will be no admission.
A single-judge bench of Justice Jayant Nath, while seeking the response of Directorate of Education and Government Boys Senior Secondary School (Pandara Road), slated this matter for further hearing on December 18. Student Ravish Kumar Singh filed the plea in the discussion through Advocate Ashok Agarwal, sought the quashing of the circular dated October 16, 2020, that lays down the maximum age limit for admission, calling it arbitrary, discriminatory, illegal and violative of Articles 14, 21 and 21A of the Constitution and also for conflicting with the provisions of Delhi School Education Act, 1973. Ravish, who filed this petition, was 17 years one month 15 days old on March 31, 2020, and could not study for one year in 2019-2020 since he was caring for his ailing mother at their hometown in Bihar. His uncle brought him to Delhi to ensure that his studies don’t suffer; however, the school denied him admission.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal, appearing for the petitioner, argued that the admission guidelines are arbitrary, discriminatory and unconstitutional, while also being irrational wherein the ultimate discretion is left for condoning the gap year even in cases of genuine and bonafide matters. “Legally, there cannot be a maximum age limit for education and therefore, prescribing maximum age of 17 years for admission in class XI is arbitrary, discriminatory and hit by Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India”, submitted Agarwal.
This plea also seeks directions to respondents to grant admission to the petitioner in Class XI in the academic year 2020-2021 at the school in question or any respondent government schools near his residence. Justice in such matters is a fast-paced affair, and one can hope that Ravish and students like him do not face hindrances while pursuing affordable education because of rules considered arbitrary. Every child in India deserves to access his/her Right to Education.
Source: The Times of India