The Delhi High Court has rejected the petitions challenging the minimum age criteria for admission to Class 1 in Kendriya Vidyalaya for the academic session 2022-23.
Justice Rekha Palli passed the order on Monday on a batch of petitions, challenging the admission criteria for the upcoming academic year, issued by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, prescribing the minimum age of a child for Class 1 as six years or above.
Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma argued that there was no ‘vested right’ in the petition to seek admission in KVS, as the children, appearing as petitioners through their parents, would become eligible for admission next year.
The Central government had, on last hearing, apprised the court that the change in admission criteria was in accordance with the National Education Policy (NEP), which came into force in 2020.
Representing a minor girl, who was one of the petitioners, Advocate Ashok Agarwal said the authorities cannot deprive her of her right to education by way of a policy change.
The change in criteria of age, without any prior notice, was prejudicial to the interest of the students, who have the right to participate in the admission process, noted Agarwal.
He said the NEP has to be first implemented at the pre-primary level and cannot be directly imposed upon students entering Class I.
The five-year-old girl, in her petition filed through her father, said the change in age requirement was in violation of the Right to Education guaranteed under the Constitution, as well as under the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973, and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
The petition further claimed that KVS suddenly changed the admission criteria for Class I to six years by uploading the guidelines for admission to Kendriya Vidyalayas on its portal, just four days before the admission process started in March.
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