[eebill] court craft schools matters

On 18/08/05 In court 9 at item 11 onwards came up
before HMJ Vikramjit Sen the batch of matters in which
most schools in Delhi have challenged the GNCTD 20%
BPL free seats directive arising (or, rather, not
arising) from the order of 20/01/2004 in WP 3156/2002
(Social Jurist v/s GNCTD & Ors).

In court 1 at item 23 came up before Acting Chief
Justice and HMJ Madan B Lokur for directions the good
old WP 3156/2002 (Social Jurist v/s GNCTD & Ors)

Acting Chief Justice is very soft-spoken and I could
not make out what was dictated as order. But the
proceedings leading to it were re-play of joint
Govt-NGO anti-schools approach. All the sloganeering
about common school system notwithstanding the central
issue was classification of schools on basis of who
allotted land and whether the free-seats condition was
in the lease. Respondents were asked about
implications of de-recognition and (like in Social
Jurist free-beds matter) if they had considered the
*alternative* of letting schools pay the difference
between the allotment and market rates. Acting Chief
Justice asked for top officials to be present in court
and also for list of violating school trusts who would
be summoned likewise regardless of any *outcry*. The
matter is listed for 25 August.

The batch matters were heard by HMJ Vikramjit Sen for
the first time (they were being heard by Justice Gita
Mittal before). Supreme Court judgment against
reservations in private colleges was mentioned.
Counsel for schools on DDA allotted sites said Union
of India had not filed its counter-affidavit. UoI
counsel said they had yesterday and sum and substance
of it was that UoI is not concerned with this issue
since 2% cess, etc, are for SSA. DDA counsel said
something about lists. I said we were intervener in
view of later order by same DB for rectification of
violations of larger scheme of which condition is part
and that no one was talking of those violations or
that order and we are the aggrieved (being
communities). Lordship asked why we were not filing a
separate petition and I said we had and won them too
but no one has noticed (which I suppose does not
answer the technicality he was asking). Counsel for
schools on private land drew attention to prior
direction asking for classification of schools. HMJ
Vikramjit Sen instead of asking yet again that GNCTD
and DDA do this (like DB just had) asked counsel for
schools to say 1-or-2-or-3-or-4 (this was fun) and
made the list in his order. Ashok Agarwal said he was
intervener in Action Committee case and petitioner in
the matter leading to the directive impugned and
Lordship smiled and asked why. I tried again and asked
if he could please ask UoI counsel to give me copy of
their affidavit and was politely explained directions
cannot be given on interventions unless submissions
are made. The matters were adjourned to 27 September
for daily hearing thereafter.

GNCTD counsel asked me outside what I was trying to
say and when I broke into plannerly explanation looked
flummoxed and asked if I was for or against
free-seats. I was flummoxed, but said against
free-seats, for common-school-system solutions,
for-government and for schools, against illegalities
by both, against interferences by busy-bodies and
publicity-seekers. she smiled cryptic smile.

What I found oddest was that while Govt-NGO counsel
had mentioned in Court 1 that the batch matters were
going to come up in Court 9 during the day, they did
not mention in Court 9 the proceedings in Court 1. I
guess we will be seeing a lot in media about the Court
1 order Social Jurist has *won* against schools. This
is to sort of record that schools also *won* some
today, as HMJ Sen was I think very rightly very
disinclined to entertain interveners.

Maybe schools could file a PIL seeking directions for
handing over education department to Social Jurist
(would save them lot of adversarial litigation and bad
press and they have locus to design and grade
exercises to harness public interest propensities - I
distinctly recall they even used to have subject
called Socially Useful Productive Work in CBSE 10+2)

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