Will not allow private schools in Delhi to hike fee arbitrarily: Manish Sisodia

Will not allow private schools in Delhi to hike fee arbitrarily: Manish Sisodia: On Wednesday, the Delhi high court banded private schools constructed on public land in the city from raising their payments up to April 8, the following date of hearing on an appeal challenging a March 15 order by single judge that permitted the upsurge.

Private schools built on public land in Delhi can’t raise fees till April 8: High Court

The school had appealed that they wanted to increase their fees to allow them to implement the approvals of the 7th Pay Commission on salaries for teachers and further personnel.

A bench of justices S Muralidhar as well as IS Mehta required the reaction of the Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools (ACURPS), an association of 325 private schools operating on government or public land to a Directorate of Education (DoE) appeal challenging the March 15 command that permitted the schools to upturn their fees.

The court directed the schools not to charge a short-term fee raise. The bench said, “Till the next date of hearing, none of the land clause schools will proceed to collect the amount constituting the interim fee hike in terms of the October 17, 2017 circular issued by the Appellant no 1 (DoE),” mentioning to the circular which permitted the schools to raise their fees by up to 15% to implement the 7th Pay Commission approvals.

Under the land tenancy contracts of these schools, they are not allowed to raise their fees deprived of preceding approval from the DoE. As soon as a suggestion is sent, the DoE will check their finances and they can be permitted to raise the fee only if they are found to be stressed to accomplish their expenditures.

After the court’s order on Wednesday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal praised the parents of the students of these schools. He said, “After the Delhi high court’s decision, many private schools in Delhi had raised the fees in the last one week. Thousands of rupees were being demanded from the parents as arrears. There was rage among parents. Your government had appealed in the high court and today, the court has stayed the fee hike.”

On March 15, Justice C Hari Shankar suppressed an April 13, 2018 DoE command leading private, unassisted documented schools built on land chosen by the Delhi Development Authority or any other government organization in contradiction of increasing fees deprived of prior authorization.

Advocate Kamal Gupta, who represented the ACURPS, upheld that the court order did not extent to a “stay” on the solitary judge’s presiding. He said, “The court has indicated that it shall be making a detailed interim arrangement on Monday and thus, the schools shall wait till then. There is no stay on the single bench’s judgment as claimed by the government…. in fact wants to set up an independent panel to take away the scrutiny of fee hike proposals from the DoE.”

A DoE official said the department was prepared with the inspection of 130 private schools constructed on public land. The official said, “The department has already rejected the fee hike proposal of around 100 schools after auditing their finances. We have also completed the process of auditing the finances of other 30 schools”.