New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a Delhi High Court order, which asked the Delhi government to ensure that private schools fill the backlog of unfilled seats for economically weaker sections (EWS) in a phased manner in the next five years.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing the petitioner, contended before a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul that the high court order was passed on a letter patent appeal (LPA), at the behest of a person who was not a party before the single judge.
As Justice Kaul asked Divan how did the appeal come about, Divan replied that a limited notice was issued in the LPA, and added that the high court’s division bench from a limited notice, passed an extensive order with such far-reaching consequences Justice Kaul wondered how the appellant, who was not a party before the single judge, could have intervened at the stage of LPA.
The bench, also comprising Justice M.M. Sundresh, said: “There may be a problem regarding filling up seats. But who are you to come before the division bench?”
The bench noted that the high court had treated the LPA proceedings like a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and passed the order. “My conscience is shocked by this order, that is all,” said Justice Kaul.
After hearing arguments, the bench said: “Issue notice. Learned counsel for the respondent Nos 1 and 4 and 2 & 3 accept the notice. A counter affidavit is filed within two weeks as prayed for. Rejoinder affidavit is filed within two weeks thereafter. In the meantime, there shall be a stay of the impugned order(s) as also further proceedings”.
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