New Delhi, July 19 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a Delhi High Court order, which asked the Delhi government to ensure that private schools fill the backlog of unfilled seats for economically weaker sections (EWS) in a phased manner in the next five years.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing the petitioner, contended before a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul that the high court order was passed on a letter patent appeal (LPA), at the behest of a person who was not a party before the single judge.
As Justice Kaul asked Divan how did the appeal come about, Divan replied that a limited notice was issued in the LPA, and added that the high court's division bench from a limited notice, passed an extensive order with such far-reaching consequences
Justice Kaul wondered how the appellant, who was not a party before the single judge, could have intervened at the stage of LPA. The bench, also comprising Justice M.M. Sundresh, said: "There may be a problem regarding filling up seats. But who are you to come before the division bench?"
The bench noted that the high court had treated the LPA proceedings like a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and passed the order. "My conscience is shocked by this order, that is all," said Justice Kaul.
After hearing arguments, the bench said: "Issue notice. Learned counsel for the respondent Nos 1 and 4 and 2 & 3 accept notice. Counter affidavit be filed within two weeks as prayed for. Rejoinder affidavit be filed within two weeks thereafter. In the meantime, there shall be stay of the impugned order(s) as also further proceedings".
The bench scheduled the matter for further hearing on September 1.
The top court order came on a plea filed by Venkateshwar Global School against Justice for All and others.
In May this year, a division bench of the Delhi High Court ordered that in cases where schools, both on private and government lands, do not adhere to the admission conditions for EWS category students, the Delhi government has to step in by exercising its duty, as a welfare state.
The Delhi government had submitted before the high court that more than 132 private schools were violating admission requirements with respect to the EWS category. The government said it had issued notice to the schools.