Court dismisses private schools’ plea

The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed the plea of private unaided schools to recall its order to pay the bill for a panel set up to examine the accounts of over 200 schools that allegedly charged excess fees from students.

The Justice Anil Dev Singh Committee was constituted a year ago to submit a report on the determination of fees in the unaided schools in Delhi.

Dismissing the plea, a division bench of Justice B D Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul directed the schools to pay the expenses of the committee within two weeks.

The court’s direction came on a plea filed by action committee of private unaided schools asking the court to recall or modify its earlier order which had said that schools would pay 90 percent of the expenses incurred by the committee and government would pay remaining 10 per cent.

Counsels for the schools argued that the fee of Rs.50,000 fixed by the committee is ‘not justified as education is charitable in nature where profiteering is prohibited’.

After the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, the schools increased the fees, citing additional financial burden due to increased salaries of teachers.

The court gave directions for setting up a committee to audit the accounts of each of the schools to ascertain if the fee hike by them was required. Several of the schools have not been maintaining proper accounts and were not getting their accounts audited as required by the law, and were also not filing annual returns, the report said.
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