HC quashes Delhi government orders, says private schools can collect annual fees

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has no power to indefinitely postpone collection of annual charges and development fees by private unaided schools as it would unreasonably restrict their functioning, the Delhi High Court said on Monday.

The high court quashed the office orders of April and August 2020 issued by the Directorate of Education (DoE) of the Delhi government forbidding and postponing collection of annual charges and development fees, saying they were “illegal” and “ultra vires the powers of the respondent stipulated under the Delhi School Education Act and the Rules.

Justice Jayant Nath noted that schools are saving some money on account of the fact that they are physically shut and said that the Supreme Court’s direction — in Indian School, Jodhpur vs. State of Rajasthan — that schools shall collect annual fees with a deduction of 15% shall apply in the instant case.

The apex court had said that the deduction would be in lieu of unutilised facilities by the students during the relevant period of the year 2020-21.

The HC said the apex court’s other directions, except for one, would also apply in the instant case.

The one direction that the high court modified was with regard to the time limit set for payment of the fees by students, as the apex court in the Indian School matter had said that the amounts have to be paid in six equal monthly instalments before August 5.

The HC said the amounts payable by the students have to be paid in six monthly instalments from June 10.
The other directions of the SC were — it would be open to the schools to give further concession to their students or to evolve a different pattern for giving concession, management shall not debar any student from attending online classes or physical classes or withhold exam results on account of non-payment of fees and students name for Board exams shall also not be withheld over non-payment of fees/arrears. 

(With PTI inputs)



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