The SC bench issued notice to the Delhi government's Education Department and others on an appeal challenging the Delhi High Court order.

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The Delhi High Court’s ruling requiring the AAP administration to make an effort to fill the backlog of open EWS seats in private schools within the next five years was stayed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. On an appeal contesting the high court’s order, a bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh served notice to the Delhi government’s Education Department and others. “Send a note. Within two weeks, a counter affidavit should be filed. The contested order(s), as well as any subsequent proceedings, will be suspended in the meantime, “said the bench. On May 26, 2022, the high court issued a decision that Venkateshwar Global School appealed against in the Supreme court.

It also said the state has to step in to aid EWS category students in cases where schools have not complied with the requirements of admissions.

The high court had said that regardless of the actual number of students accepted in the general category, the state must guarantee that the 25% of seats in the EWS category be filled based on the sanctioned strength at the entry-level — pre-school, nursery, pre-primary, KG, and class I. “When schools fail to adhere to the tight criteria for admitting kids from the EWS category, the state is required to act as a welfare state and assist the latter. No government land beneficiary may disregard or disregard its commitment under the allocation, “Bench has stated.

In light of the situation, “the state shall use all reasonable efforts to ensure that the backlog of unfilled seats in private schools, both on private and government lands, is filled up in the next five years in a phased manner, that is, filling 20% of the vacancies each year in addition to the mandated annual 25% intake,” it had stated.

Mayank Tewari

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