Court rejects reservation quota for Sanskriti School as elitist

Delhi: Delhi’s elite Sanskriti School can no longer offer 60 per cent quota for the bureaucrats’ children, the Delhi High Court on Friday struck down the reservation for the kids of babus.

The Court also directed the Centre to see whether the school — run in Chanakyapuri area by the wives of top government officers — can be made part of the existing Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan.

The school has 60 per cent of seats reserved for the children of group-A officers, 10 per cent for general public, five per cent for staff and 25 per cent for children under the category of Economically Weaker Section (EWS).

“Reserving seats for a particular branch of the Indian Services disadvantages children of persons engaged in other branches of the Indian Services,” a bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Mukta Gupta said.

“…The school which has been funded by public funds for its creation has not ‘narrowly tailored’ its means, because a 60 per cent quota creates a limited notion of diversity, and merely separates ‘Group-A Union Government officers’ from an otherwise similar category of students,” the court said adding that separate treatment of Group-A officers’ children violates both the spirit of equal protection under Article 14 and the spirit of equality of education under Article 21A of the Constitution.

The court invoked a case involving segregation of white and African-American students in a school in the US and said “the very labelling of the school in question as a school for Group-A Union government officers along with the fact that the school reserves 60 per cent of its seats for (them), posits such children as ‘separate’ from other students.”

In the Indian context, the court added, “where forging of a nation is at a greater stake, the circle of citizens has to be broadened and the children of whatever parentage to be made of one blood and educated to be one harmonious people.”

The court rejected the argument placed by the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) association, which runs the school that the school was created to help officers with transferable jobs.

The school was allotted the land at a premium of Rs1 with ground rent of Rs1 per annum. The Central government had also declared that various government agencies and ministries donated Rs15.945 crores to the society for setting up of the school.

In 2006, the court took suo motu cognisance of the issue and had said that government resources should be made available firstly to the weaker sections of society.