High Court Issues Notice To Delhi Government On Plea Challenging Provisions Of Delhi Technical Institutions

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Government of NCT Delhi and others on a plea moved by father and son (both domiciled in Delhi) challenging the provisions of “‘The Delhi Diploma Level Technical Education Institutions (Prohibition of Capitation Fee, Regulation of Admission, Fixation of Non-exploitative Fee and Other Measures to ensure equity and excellence) Act, 2007’.

The bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh today issued notice to the Government of NCT Delhi and others on a plea challenging the provisions of the Delhi act which reserves 85 per cent seats only for Delhi candidates defined as students who have done plus two (XII) from an institution in Delhi.

The petitioners seek a direction that domicile should also be taken into consideration as many Delhi students have to study in NCR schools such as in Gurgaon and Noida. They cannot be deprived of the Delhi quota.

Petitioner Dr Himadari Das (Father) serving as Director-General and distinguished professor, International Management Institute, Delhi seeks the appropriate direction of the Court to include candidates that are residents of Delhi and have the requisite documents mandated for obtaining a domicile certificate in Delhi to ensure uniformity, fairness, and equity and to attain the objective of the 2007 Act.

According to the petition, the son secured admission in the Shri Ram School located in Vasant Vihar, Delhi, wherein students are provided education only till standard V. And after that, he moved to study at the school’s branch at The Shri Ram School located at DLF Phase III, Gurugram for pursuing further education from standard VI to standard XII.

Father petitioner while challenging the provisions of said Act, also submitted a representation to the Respondents highlighting the fact that despite the Petitioners’ family residing in Delhi for generations, the Petitioner’s birthplace and the permanent residence being Delhi, his son is ineligible to avail the benefit of 85 per cent reservation for Delhi students in Delhi Government Higher Education Institutions due to having taken his qualifying examination from a reputed school located outside Delhi.

Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose appearing for petitioners submitted that Article 14 of the Constitution of India sets down the notion of equality among all persons, which includes non-citizens. Through a catena of judgments and well-developed jurisprudence over decades, Article 14 of the Constitution of India is interpreted to comprise the twin test of manifest arbitrariness and reasonableness. The twin test as elucidated in a multitude of cases, is two-pronged (a) Classification must be found on intelligible differentia and (b) The differentia must have a rational relation to the object sought to be achieved by the Act.

The exclusion of Petitioner No. 2 (son) as a “Delhi Candidate” under the 2007 Act is inequitable given that he is a resident of Delhi for all purposes and is eligible for issuance of a domicile certificate by virtue of being a resident of Delhi. Even though eighty-five per cent (85 per cent) of the total seats, being a substantial reservation, except the management seats, are allocated for ‘Delhi Candidates’ under the 2007 Act, the plea read.

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