Letter, Court Matter; Sub: NCMP-DMP opportunities for Common School System / WP 8954-59/2003, etc

Vice Chairman, DDA

Sub: NCMP-DMP opportunities for Common School System / WP 8954-59/2003, etc


According to news reports of 02.06.04 DDA had issued to 133 schools show-cause notice returnable in 15 days about violation of free seats condition. I seek to know status of this in view of the following:

(a) Closing schools for violating one land allotment condition (as done in one hospital) would, except as part of a strategy for achieving Delhi Master Plan (DMP) purpose of universalization of education from which the condition flows, tantamount to misuse of penal powers. It may be recalled a school featured among cases of misuse of powers exposed by CBI in ‘DDA scam’ in March 2003 and, for instance, demolition of misuse in a school covered in above-mentioned petitions has not been effected despite High Court order of 10.09.03 in WP 2638/2003.

(b) Notices to 133 schools (even as DMP provisions apply to all schools in Delhi) only for free seat violations (tail-end of a series of violations starting with mis-allotments) seem violative of Article 14. It may be recalled DDA had issued on 12.08.03 public notice asking all schools for affidavits in one month about compliance, follow-up to which remains a mystery. Nor has DDA taken issue on DMP violations by MCD or Delhi government in their schools or in procedures for issuing clearances, and even in order and Public Notices pursuant to High Court order about free seats.

(c) Frivolous ‘replies’ filed around 25.02.04 in WP 8954-59/2003, failure to reply to note of 04.05.04 about extending enforcing free seats to Common School System (CSS) as prayed in them, and request of 17.05.04 to bring them to the attention of the court in a subsequent overlapping matter, etc, suggest a ‘keenness’ to de-link the free seats condition from its statutory purpose. This approach is futile and, in its context, the ‘attack’ on schools seems deflected to divert attention from state failures rather than directed at resolving the problematic situation.

I posit that, with UPA not committing itself to central law for 86th Amendment, the onus of legal regime to absorb imminent education investments in ways best suited to CSS makes extending enforcement of free seats to progressive implementation of CSS an imperative, besides of DMP, also of UPA Common Minimum Programme and 86th Amendment. I posit, further, that this proposition, spelled out in the enclosed note1, merits urgent discussion and request DDA initiative for this in view of its statutory mandate. Meanwhile, I offer to post on a web space any comments received on the enclosed note.

Yours sincerely

Gita Dewan Verma / Planner

cc: wrt references in Annex to enclosed note, with request for comment on it

  • Secretary, MoUD, reiterating also requests in letter of 11.06.04
  • Chief Secretary, GNCTD, with request to forward departments / ministries being quoted in media
  • Commissioner, MCD
  • Jt Commissioner (Traffic), Delhi Police
  • Chairman, Delhi Urban Arts Commission
  • JS (HRD-EE), with request also for information of PMO briefing note on education
  • Chairman, Task Force for Improvement of System of Education
  • Director, NIEPA
  • Social Jurist
  • Secretary, Legal Department, MoL&J
  • JD (AC HQ), CBI
  • Deputy Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat (Parliamentary Standing Committee)
  • Under Secretary, President’s Secretariat

wrt discussions / note of 04.05.04, with request also to circulate enclosed note

  • Mr Arun Kapur / Ms Rekha Krishnan, Vasant Valley School
  • Ms Kamala Menon, Mothers’ School
  • Ms Ashraf Patel / Pravah
  • Ms Ranjana Ray, Dr A V Baliga Memorial Trust
  • Ms Anuradha Bakshi, Project WHY

wrt engagements, with apologies for not being able to precipitate wider discussion / engagement

  • Mr Hoti Lal, convenor (education), Master Plan Implementation Support Group