Upper Age limit will not apply to the admissions into pre-school, pre-primary and class one in the schools of Delhi

Delhi High Court: Examining the aspects of convenience of the parents affected by the Executive Order dated 18-12-2015, that stipulated an upper age limit upon admission into Delhi schools at pre-school, pre-primary and class one levels, the Bench of Manmohan, J. stayed the Order and gave specific directions to the schools to continue considering the applications without applying any upper age limit to them, and laid down specific deadlines for different stages of the process.

The Government of NCT passed an order dated 18-12-2015 under Section 16(1) of Delhi School Education Act and Rules, 1973 thereby fixing an upper age limit for admission to pre-school, pre-primary and class one level. The petitioners highlighted that the impugned Order violates Articles 14, 19 (1)(a), 21A and 45 of the Constitution since every child between six to fourteen years has a fundamental right to education which corresponds to the compulsory elementary education from classes 1 to 8 as defined under Section 3 of the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009. The respondents represented by Peeyoosh Kalra rebutted the arguments based upon the RTE Act by showing that the intent of admitting the children into the classes appropriate to their age was derived from Section 4 of the RTE Act itself and clarified further that a child was free to start his studies at any specified age, but his admission was only to be accepted in a class suitable to his age. Stating this viewpoint, the respondents corroborated it with the report of a sub-committee recommending the same.

Court while underscoring the fundamental right of children to seek admission, noted that the State is not supposed to take its citizens and children by surprise with such orders and by reading into the impugned Order observed that, it affected the parents retrospectively and caused them a great deal of  inconvenience. [Suman Mishra v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 679decided on 05.02.2016]

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