Letter, Court Matter; Letter to LG about the schools matter in court
Request wrt our CM 3073/2005 in WP 15436-39/2004 and connected matters being heard by the Hon'ble High Court
Shri BL Joshi, Hon'ble Lieutenant Governor
Sub: GNCTD directive for 20% free seats: Request wrt our CM 3073/2005 in WP 15436-39/2004 and connected matters being heard by the Hon'ble High Court
Hon'ble High Court is hearing connected matters in which hundreds of schools have challenged the above-mentioned directive that GNCTD issued pursuant to Order of January 2004 in an NGO PIL. On 16/04/05 the Court granted stay and on 05/05/05 it gave directions after hearing Action Committee of Private Unaided Schools, in whose matter we have filed the above application for intervention (with reference to Order of 27/10/04 directing action against violations that our WP (C) 8954-59/2003 had challenged as getting in the way of enforcing the Delhi Master Plan (DMP) common school system scheme, in which the free seats condition is small part, hardly enforceable in isolation).
The Court has told us it will hear us before passing judgment on these matters and we are writing in the mean time since you are vested with powers for overall administration of both the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 (DSE Act, on which the instant proceedings seem to mainly rely) as well as the Delhi Development Act, 1957 (DD Act, on which our matters rely) and since it appears to us that authorities can meaningfully comply with directions of 05/05/05 only by reading both Acts together and, indeed, if they do not do so these matters may well take a most untenable direction.
Please permit us to outline the situation as we understand it. Schools have submitted that the GNCTD directive infringes their rights and bears no relation to Order of January 2004 that required GNCTD to make rules that can only be made (by you) with Central Government approval under s.28 of DSE Act. They have also submitted that, contrary to the impression being created around the impugned Directive that only GNCTD and an NGO care about educating the poor, schools already are, or are not averse to, providing freeships in other ways and have even proposed, in a letter of 08/04/05 to Chief Minister, an alternative scheme. They have also questioned GNCTD inefficiencies in utilization of education funds (including from 2% cess and for SSA) as well as poor conditions in and closures of government schools, contending that in such context the impugned Directive amounts to an attempt to shift state responsibility to private schools. On its part, GNCTD seems to have defended its directive in terms of moral obligations (of schools), international covenants (applicable to the state), Education Bill (yet to be enacted by Parliament), sweeping remarks about commercialisation of education, etc, and has been directed to file further affidavit answering the averments made. UoI, likewise, has been asked to file further affidavit in view of DSE Act envisaging its participation. DDA has not filed counter-affidavit but has offered to file one now. Respondents have also been directed to consider the proposal that the schools made to CM by letter of 08/04/05.
Now, the Schools’ proposal is for B-shift afternoon schools for less hours and with retired teachers. The Court itself pointed out this requires a statute amendment (in DSE Act) – ie, it is currently illegal (though it is being practiced and even celebrated, as in recent ‘adoption’ by Late Kaifi Azmi of afternoon school at DPS RK Puram at a mushaira held there by his family in his honour and attended by, among others, Hon’ble Lok Sabha Speaker and the Hon’ble PM’s wife, while we had lodged complaints against it with DCP (SW) for investigation u/s.34-A of DD Act for being misuse since it is not school in terms of DSE Act). Not having access to others’ pleadings, we are unaware of what led the Hon’ble Court to direct, in matters in which the Petitioners have challenged a GNCTD directive for illegalities in terms of DSE Act, the Respondents to consider an alternative scheme, also illegal in terms of DSE Act, preferred by the Petitioners – without even ordering, for parity between illegalities before it, a stay also on afternoon schools being already and illegally run.
Due to lack of parity between courtroom-capabilities of Schools/State and ourselves, we were unable, even when Hon’ble Court asked Schools if they did not have a scheme that did not require a statute amendment, to draw attention to our proposal for neighbourhood school plan to implement the DMP scheme through progressive rectification of its violations (which is set out in an Annexure in our application of 2005, based on an Annexure in our writ petitions of 2003, viz, a report submitted to authorities in 2001, and about which we have been begging authorities and schools for a meeting).
Nor were we able to point out to the Hon’ble Court that its direction for consideration by the Respondents of the Petitioners’ illegal proposal of 08/04/05 is hardly necessary, since they have already themselves proposed it (along with proposals to relax / abandon other stipulations to legitimize also violations against which Order of 27/10/04 was passed in our matters) – in draft DMP-2021, for which Public Notice inviting objections and suggestions for 90-days was published in newspapers, also on 08/04/05, and perhaps the direction interferes with that statutory process.
We now request you to ensure, if you consider it appropriate, full consistency of all counter-affidavits filed as per direction of 05/05/2005 with the statutory responsibilities cast upon authorities by both Delhi School Education Act, 1973, and Delhi Development Act, 1957.
We also request your intervention apropos our requests for consideration of / meeting for our proposal and for clarifications sought in our letter of 02/05/2005 to Principal Commissioner cum Secretary (from whose office it has been returned unopened, with noting “Not Accepted”), which we enclose, along with the text of our application and the note on our proposal that is an annexure in it.
Gita Dewan Verma, MPISG Planner
- Letter of 02/05/2005 (1p)
- Text of CM 3073 in WP 15436-39/2004 (2p)
- Note on our proposal (2p)
as per letter of 02/02/2005 (without enclosures, with request to e-mail if of interest)
To support planned development. To oppose unplanned development. To protect our future.