Schools Can't Deny Admission To EWS Students Selected By Draw: Delhi Court

EWS Admissions: The court's ruling asserts that once a school communicates its general and EWS seat availability to the DoE, it must honour the results of the draw of lots.

Schools Can't Deny Admission To EWS Students Selected By Draw: Delhi Court

The Delhi High Court said that Schools must abide by the draw of lots if DoE doesn't revise seat count.

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court has underscored that schools must adhere to the results of the computerised draw of lots administered by the Directorate of Education (DoE) for admitting students from economically weaker sections (EWS). 

Justice C Hari Shankar said that the draw of lots is carried out based on the class capacity provided by the schools themselves. If there's a shortfall in the number of students in the general category, a school must formally request the DoE to adjust the count of EWS students. It cannot unilaterally deviate from the draw's outcome.

This directive from the court follows a case where a student sought admission to a pre-primary class in a private school after being selected through the DoE's draw of lots. The school declined admission, citing a discrepancy between the actual number of general category admissions and the figure reported to the DoE. It had already filled 25 per cent of general category spots with EWS candidates as mandated by law.

"Once a school communicates the number of general category and EWS seats available with it for being filled in an ensuing academic year to the DoE and the DoE, on that basis, conducts a computerised draw of lots, the school is bound to admit the EWS students who are, based on the said computerised draw of lots, found eligible for admission to its portals," the court said in the recent order.

"The school cannot then turn around and say that as the actual number of general category students, which it could ultimately admit, was less than the strength of general category seats communicated by it to the DoE, there should be a proportionate reduction in the number of EWS students, which it can admit for that year, and, on that basis, reject to admit students who, based on the data provided by the school itself, have been shortlisted for admission," the court said.

The court's ruling asserts that once a school communicates its general and EWS seat availability to the DoE, it must honour the results of the draw of lots. It cannot later claim a reduction in EWS admissions based on changes in general category admissions. In this case, since the draw of lots was based on the school's communicated seat count for the 2023-24 academic year, the petitioner deserves admission.

"The petitioner would be entitled to be imparted education by the school as an EWS candidate as per the provisions of the Right to Education Act and the various circulars, guidelines and other instructions issued by the DoE in that regard," the court added.

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