The Delhi High Court has upheld the privacy rights of children in economically weaker sections (EWS), disadvantaged groups (DG), and children with special needs (CWSN) seeking admission to private unaided recognized schools. A bench led by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma dismissed an appeal by the Delhi government against the suspension of their mandate for Aadhaar submission for admissions.
Privacy Rights Paramount
The court emphasized that requiring sensitive personal information like Aadhaar card details from a child could potentially infringe upon their right to privacy, as outlined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The bench referred to the Supreme Court‘s stand in the K S Puttaswamy case, asserting that making Aadhaar mandatory contravenes fundamental rights and cannot be constitutionally justified.
Background and Decision
The Delhi government had mandated Aadhaar submission for admissions to private unaided recognized schools under EWS, DG, and CWSN categories. However, a single-judge bench had temporarily suspended this mandate based on a petition from a parent whose child couldn’t participate in the admission lottery due to lacking an Aadhaar card. The High Court affirmed the interim order, stating that it aligned with constitutional provisions safeguarding privacy rights.
The government argued that the Aadhaar requirement aimed to streamline the admission process and prevent fraudulent applications, asserting it didn’t violate a child’s right to education. Nevertheless, the High Court ruled in favor of protecting privacy rights and ensuring access to education for all without compromising individual privacy and security.