RTE Act reserves 25% seats for economically weaker section and disadvantaged children (EWSD) in private schools for which these schools are reimbursed by the Government. Proviso to Rule 10(3) of Delhi RTE Rules lays down geographical preference to EWSD staying within 1 km of the school, for the purpose of filling 25% private school quota though the government can expand the distance criteria. The Government, vide notification, subsequently expanded the distance criteria.
This was challenged by private schools (Federation of Public Schools vs Government of NCT Delhi, Writ Petition (Civil) 636 of 2012) before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, on the ground that the proviso to Rule 10(3) is arbitrary and discriminatory and hence violates Article 14 of the Constitution. The Petitioner prayed for laying down of guidelines and pre-conditions for exercise of power under Rule 10(3) of the Delhi RTE Rules. The matter was dismissed in the High Court.. It is now before the Hon’ble Supreme Court (Federation of Public Schools vs Government of NCT, Delhi, SLP (Civil) No. 17305 of 2012)..
Additionally, as per the Rules, every private school needs to organise a lottery, verify the details and video-record the lottery proceedings. Government is responsible for the monitoring of EWSD admission process in every school. Besides, EWSD parents currently find it difficult to apply to multiple private schools.
iJustice has filed an application for impleadment (to become a party in the ongoing litigation before the Supreme Court) and an application for directions advocating for a more pragmatic solution –a central online lottery conducted by the Government that may have an inbuilt geographical preference as well. The government can then forward the final list to respective private schools for admissions. It will save immense monitoring costs on part of the Government, verification and administrative costs on part of private schools and huge transaction costs on part of parents.
This application if successful, will replace the current cumbersome procedure of decentralised lottery with central lottery.