NGO ‘Justice For All’ has requested for transfer of the hearing to a larger bench
The Delhi government issued a notification that ordered private schools built on DDA land to accept admission forms based solely on the neighbourhood or distance criteria. There are 298 private schools built on Delhi Development Authority (DDA) land in Delhi.
The petition is being challenged by two minority schools and two separate groups representing private unaided schools along with a few parents of students studying in these schools.
Currently, a single judge is hearing petitions challenging this notification. An NGO ‘ Justice For All’ had been seeking the transfer of the hearing related to the nursery admission case from a single judge to a larger bench. However, the Delhi High Court today declined to entertain The NGO's plea.
The NGO has argued that only a division bench is entitled to hear such a plea as per Delhi High Court rules, as this is a statutory notification issued by the Lieutenant Governor. They have added that the schools have challenged a statutory notification issued by the lieutenant governor and as per Delhi High Court rules, only a division bench is entitled to hear the plea.
Bench of Justices, Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar, has stated that they will not be going into this issue. They have asked for this matter to be presented before the single judge itself, as a petition which has challenged the jurisdiction of the single bench on the ground that only a larger bench has jurisdiction to decide it, can be decided by the single bench itself.
"Whenever you challenge the jurisdiction of the judge or the bench, it should be heard by the same forum which is seized of the issue", said the bench of justices.
“Although the present writ petition filed by the school associations is challenging a statutory notification issued by the lieutenant governor, the prayer has been framed in a way that a clause of DDA is challenged”, said advocate Khagesh Jha, representing the NGO.