The Delhi High Court has asked the government to check, if schools are misusing the autonomy granted to them and move court if necessary.
A single-judge bench of Justice Manmohan asked the Directorate of Education to ensure that schools are not misusing the autonomy, while remarking that autonomy should be recognised with some "sense of maturity".
"You also see...if some people are misusing the autonomy, you can also move court," the court told the counsel for Directorate of Education.
The bench made the observations while hearing a petition moved by St Mary's School against a state government order reserving some percentage of seats for students belonging to economically weaker sections.
The court stayed the notification till the next hearing. It also asked the school to make reasonable criteria for admission while exercising its autonomy.
"The land to the school was given on concessional rate because of sponsorship of the Directorate of Education. The school is obliged to admit students belonging to EWS category," the lawyer for Directorate of Education said.
However, the school said it was not obliged under the lease deed to admit any students of EWS category as it does not stipulate any condition to provide free education to anyone.
The bench directed the school to file an affidavit and place before it the communication it had with the government while signing the lease deed dated December 26, 1975. The court also said autonomy should be recognised with some sense of maturity, asking it to define reasonable criteria for admissions if it is exercising its autonomy.
"Please make reasonable criteria. You can't make criteria like those who eat chicken with skin will get admission and those who eat it without the skin will not get admission. Please make some reasonable criteria," the bench said.