KVS ADMISSION GUIDELINES ILLEGAL – SAYS DELHI HIGH COURT
A Division Bench of Delhi High Court headed by the Chief Justice has today declared that Clause 5(3) of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangthan (KVS) Admission Guidelines for admission in Class I introducing reservation to the extent of 22.5% of the total 25% seats reserved for the children belonging to disadvantaged group and economically weaker section is illegal and contrary to RTE Act, 2009 and directed KVS to reframe its Admission Guidelines in the ensuing Academic Year 2013-14.
The Court was dealing with PIL filed by Social Jurist, A Civil Rights Group through Advocate Ashok Agarwal challenging the legality of the KVS Admission Guidelines pointing out that KVS has provided 22.5% reservation to SC/ST category within the 25% reserved quota for children belonging to disadvantaged group (also including SC & ST) which was not permissible under the RTE Act since it translates into “reservation within reservation” and was invalid.
The Court had examined a legal issue of wide ramification as to whether a school falling under the definition of Section 2(n) of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 could apply rule of reservation and allot a specified number of seats to SC and ST candidates out of 25% of the seats reserved for the children belonging to Economically Weaker Section and Disadvantaged Group under Section 12(1) (c) of the Act.
The Court has rejected the KVS arguments that it has powers under the law to introduce reservation within reservation in 25% seats reserved for DG/EWS under RTE Act, 2009. On the other hand, the Court has accepted the arguments of Ashok Agarwal, counsel appearing on behalf of Social Jurist that the KVS has reserved a total 10 seats under 25 percent quota and out of these 10 seats 9 have again been reserved for SC/ST class leaving only one seat to be shared by EWS, handicapped and other disadvantaged groups, which is violation of RTE Act, 2009.
“According to the scheme of the RTE Act, 2009, the reserved category of 25% should have equal weightage for SC/ST, OBC, disabled or children from EWS and they form one homogeneous class and is entitled to equal treatment and no class can have preference over the other. The categories mentioned in Section 2(d) and 2(e) of RTE Act, 2009 form one group/class for the purpose of 25% reservation of seats in KVS for children belonging to disadvantaged group and EWS in terms of Section 12(1)(c) of RTE Act, 2009 and cannot be legally sub-divided or sub-categorized but the KVS has introduced quota within quota thereby 90 percent of seats in 25% seats have been provided to SC/ST students. Such a sub-classification or micro classification of the categories mentioned in Section 2(d) of RTE Act, 2009 which already takes care of SC/ST children is impermissible under the Constitution and contrary to the law”, Ashok Agarwal had contended.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal while expressing satisfaction with the judgment told media that several State Governments while framing the Rules under RTE Act, 2009 have introduced quota within quota in 25 % seats meant for DG/EWS which is illegal and after this judgment, they all have to amend the rules dropping quota within quota.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate