Where did Delhi get power to nursery admissions age limits, asks HC

New Delhi, Feb 1: Terming the notification issued by the AAP government, fixing an upper age limit for nursery admission at four years, having no "legal sanctity" as it was not issued by the lt. governor, the Delhi High Court on Monday wondered where the government got the power to issue such notification.

Justice Manmohan, hearing a bunch of pleas which challenged the cap on upper age for admission to schools for entry level education, said he would pass an interim order on Tuesday as the last date of application process was February 5.

"From where are you getting the power to fix the maximum age. I don't know where it is coming from ... Lt. governor or administrator can only issue order. How can you overcome a statutory order of 2007 by an executive order?" he asked the government. The court said that in 2007, the lt. governor issued an order, giving freedom to private unaided recognised schools to frame their own guidelines for nursery admissions and asked how can the government overcome a statutory order by an executive order. "Your notification does not have any legal sanctity," it observed. It further said that Delhi School Education Act has given lots of flexibility on the admission issue but the government through its December 18, 2015 notification has "taken away the flexibility, rights of parents and child's freedom". By a notification dated December 18, 2015, the Delhi government fixed the upper age limit for pre-school (Nursery), pre-primary (KG) and class one. The court said there cannot be a "straight-jacket formula" for such a complicated issue. The Delhi government defended its decision saying it was taken on the basis of a panel of experts, who were principals of leading schools.