Arpit vs. Adriel High School | Right To Education | Delhi High Court

Arpit vs. Adriel High School | Delhi High Court upholds Right to Education for EWS Students in Private Schools

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The Delhi High Court has been proactively working to secure and uphold the rights of students under the EWS Category by granting them admission as per the RTE Act.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Unni Krishna vs State of Andra Pradesh, 1993[1] held that Article 21A of the constitution requires the stare to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the age of 6 and 14 years of age and with the efforts of the government this constitutional provision was later operationalized in 2009 through Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

Section 12 of the Right to Education Act, 2009 laid down guidelines to explain the responsibility of schools for providing free and compulsory education to children that all the government school shall provide free and compulsory education to all children.

Facts of the case:

1. For facilitating the admission process and to ensure uniformity, the Directorate of education (DoE) launched a computerised online admission process wherein it also posted various circulars and procedure to be followed. Accordingly, the petitioner applied for the admission under the EWS/DG category in KG/Pre-primary for the academic session 2023-2024 by submitting necessary documents.

2. As per the circular of the DOE, the Draw of Lots was organised and the name of the present petitioner was drawn for the admission in the school (respondent).

3. When the petitioner approached the school/respondent for admission the respondent told him that his name was in waiting list and after subsequent inquiries by petitioner he was intimated by respondent that all seats has been filled.

4. Despite various request for verification of document and admission to be conducted the school blatantly responded that till the seats of the general category is not filled, they cannot give admission to the EWS children. Such statement in itself is contrary to RTE act which made it a statutory requirement to reserve 25% seats for EWS/DG category.

Arguments of the Petitioner:

 The petitioner contended that because Article 21-A of the Constitution of India puts a categorical obligation on State to provide free and compulsory education to all children in age group of 6 to 14 years of age and It is to ensure this fundamental right granted by the Constitution that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 was promulgated, which inter alia under Section 12 thereof mandates that every school shall admit at least 25% of the strength of its class, children belonging economically to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups and provide them free and compulsory elementary education. Also the Petitioner has shown his eligibility to apply under the EWS/DG and CWSN Category for admissions for the academic session 2023-24 by showing/submitting all relevant documents such as Income Proof/certificate, Caste.

The petitioner has asked to issue a writ order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing respondent school to grant admission to the petitioner.

 Arguments of the Respondent:

The respondent initially asserted that petitioner had not initially selected their school.

They also contended that the school had communicated with the DOE requesting a reduction in EWS seats before the draw of lots and since this representation was made prior to the draw, the outcome of the draws shouldn’t be binding. Moreover, they claimed that the DOE didn’t follow the neighbourhood criterion when allotting the school to the petitioner.

Delhi High Court Judgment:

Justice C. Hari Shankar, Delhi High Court relied on Neeraj Kumar v. Venkateshwar Global School (2017)[2] which established that provisional admission cannot be granted after 31st December of an academic year. However, the Court noted that this principle was not universally upheld and was subject to interpretation.

The Court then referred to the Baby Nikshita Case[3], which established that December 31 cutoff date should not hinder the granting of provisional admission to deserving students. The Court ordered that provisional admission granted to the petitioner in the respondent school as an EWS candidate in accordance with RTE act and would be entitled to all amenities and conveniences to which such a student is entitled such as textbook and uniforms.

The writ petition was allowed.


The case revolves around the refusal of Adriel High School to admit Arpit, a student from the economically weaker section (EWS), despite his selection through a computerized draw of lots conducted by the Directorate of Education (DoE) for the academic year 2023-24. The petitioner, represented by his counsel, argues that the school is bound by the outcome of the DoE’s draw of lots and is legally obligated to admit Arpit as an EWS candidate. The school’s refusal is challenged on the grounds that once the DoE publishes the EWS seat matrix and conducts the draw of lots, schools cannot refuse admission to selected students. In defense, the school’s counsel cites previous judgments, arguing that no provisional admission should be ordered after December 31 of the academic year, referencing cases such as Neeraj Kumar v. Venkateshwar Global School and Radha Krishan v. Bal Bharti Public School. However, the court highlights that a Division Bench in Baby Nikshita v. DoE had indicated that the cut-off date of December 31 requires reconsideration, thus not serving as an absolute deadline. Consequently, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi finalizes Arpit’s provisional admission, affirming his right to regular admission and entitlements under the RTE Act. The ruling emphasizes judicial consistency and the precedence of ensuring EWS students’ rights to education, aligning with similar previous judgments and reinforcing the obligations of schools under the DoE’s EWS admission process.

written by:

Ms. Suhani Singh

Third-Year Student of Amity Law School, Noida pursuing BA LLB (Hons)




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