The Delhi High Court has directed the three municipal corporations in the national capital to put online the details of the number of vacant seats in the schools run and aided by them. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said it was the responsibility of the Municipal Corporations of Delhi to direct their primary schools to forward the list of vacant seats in each class by December 31 of each year, so that it can be uploaded on time.
“This should include the number of vacancy in the lowest class of the schools,” the bench said, adding that in case the schools have any specific criteria for admission, it needs to be mentioned in the information list put on their websites.
The court issued the direction on a plea by educationists and RTI activist, Anurag Kundu, who had alleged that lack of transparency regarding the seats available, the rules and regulations for admissions, violated the fundamental right of children to free and compulsory education.
The public interest litigation (PIL) has said the parents would not be able to obtain such information if the process was not made transparent.
The bench concurred with the petitioner’s demand that the civic bodies should publish on their websites all the data about the availability of seats and the filling up of these seats in every school, ahead of the academic sessions.
It said the complete information should be uploaded by April 1 of every year.
“The MCDs shall strictly abide by the courts directions,” the bench said, adding that it was their duty to inform all schools under them and upload it within the time fixed by this court.
The court directed MCD to upload all circulars stating the time-lines, rules, process, documents required, procedures and grievance redressal process, along with the address and contact details of the officers concerned on the portal.
The petitioner had claimed that while the new admission season was beginning, there was no way for the parents to find out the number of vacant seats in their neighbourhood schools due to non-transparency and unaccountability.
It had alleged that “no public notice/circular is put up on the notice boards or portals of the schools,” which infringes the fundamental right of students to education.