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Nursery seats: Delhi high court asks top govt official to appear

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-05-2014 PTI

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday asked a top Delhi government official to appear before it over non-implementation of its order on issuance of a circular to 15 schools to keep aside at least two nursery seats each in the present academic session for children with special needs.

Seeking the presence of the principal secretary of education, a bench of justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Vibhu Bakhru also issued a notice to the Delhi government for its response to a contempt plea alleging “wilful and deliberate omission” on its part for not complying with the court’s 7 May order. The bench brushed aside the government’s contention that guidelines cannot be modified during the admission process, saying it had ordered only what has been mandated under the Persons With Disabilities Act.

“Let the principal secretary, education be here on next date,” the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on 16 May. The order was passed on the petition of Pramod Arora, father of a child with special needs.

The contempt plea filed through senior advocate Kirti Uppal and advocate Anshumaan Sahni has alleged that despite the court’s 7 May order, the government has not issued any circular so far. The bench on 7 May had ordered the city government to issue the circular within 24 hours to 15 private schools.

The order had been passed after the directorate of education (DoE) had filed a status report saying that pursuant to its inspection, it has been found that 18 of the 44 schools mentioned in the main petition have the facility to cater to children with special needs while 19 others lacked the same.

It had also submitted that it is yet to inspect eight other schools to ascertain as to whether they can handle such children or not. The petitioner had also submitted a list of seven other schools which can handle children with special needs. Taking note of the list of schools, the court had asked DoE to issue a circular to the 15 schools to keep aside at least two seats for such children.

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