New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: The Delhi High Court on Monday said the Delhi government has no power to postpone the collection of annual and development fees by private schools as it would unnecessarily affect the functioning of schools. Quashing the orders issued by the Directorate of Education (DoE) dated April and August 2020 to postpone the collection of annual charges and development fees, the High Court said that these orders were illegal and “ultra vires” the powers of DOE under the Delhi School Education (DSE) Act and the Rules.

However, Justice Jayant Nath noted that schools are able to save money due to being physically shut in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking the reference of Supreme Court's direction in Indian School, Jodhpur vs. State of Rajasthan verdict, Justice Nath said schools shall collect annual fees with a deduction of 15 per cent with an instant effect.

The deduction ordered by the apex court was in consideration of the unutilized facilities by students during the academic year of 2020-2021 due to the physical showdown of schools.

The High court has said that all the directions of the apex court’s order will be applicable in the instant case, except one direction which set the time limit for payment of fees by students to six equal monthly installments before August 5. According to the new directive by the high court, the fees to be submitted by the students will have to be paid in six monthly installments from June 10.

The other directions given by the Supreme court include the choice of schools to give further concessions to students or adopt a different pattern for relaxing fees. Under no case, the management can debar students from attending online classes in case of non-payment of fees. Schools also cannot withhold the exam results or exclude names of students from Board exams if fees is not paid for any reason.

The apex court also directed schools to sympathetically consider the plea of parents seeking concession in fees for the year 2020-2021 due to financial difficulties. It also added that the new arrangement will not affect the collection of fees for the academic year 2021-22.

All these directives by the Supreme court are incorporated by the High Court in its judgment delivered on a plea by the Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools represented by advocate Kamal Gupta that challenges the DoE’s order on fees collection for private schools.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan