The Supreme Court today made it clear that it would not refer to a larger bench a batch of pleas challenging various High Court orders that Right to Education (RTE) Act does not apply to nursery admissions in unaided private schools.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it would hear on November 17 the petitions challenging the orders that RTE Act was applicable to students between the age group of 6 to 14 years only after Attorney General K K Venugopal, who has been asked to assist it, sought time.
However during the brief hearing, Venugopal told the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, that "so far as nursery admission is concerned there is no regulatory mechanism".
NGO 'Social Jurist' and others have moved the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court's February 2013 order, by which it had refused to quash the Centre and the Delhi government's notifications allowing schools to formulate their own criteria for admission to the nursery class.
The Delhi high court had held that RTE Act and subsequent government notifications are not applicable for nursery admissions in unaided private schools. It had said that like the RTE, these also do not apply to nursery admissions.
It had allowed the plea of the Centre that the RTE Act was applicable to children between 6 and 14 years of age only and the states were free to formulate policies to govern nursery admissions.
The high court, however, had asked the Centre to consider amending the Act to include nursery education as well, saying that the schools cannot be allowed to run as "teaching shops" as it would be "detrimental to equal opportunity to children".
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