41 pvt schools should refund excess fees to parents: Panel to HC

A judicial panel set up by the Delhi High Court has recommended that 41 private schools should refund the excess fees they had charged from parents of students in 2009 with interest.

New Delhi: A judicial panel set up by the Delhi High Court has recommended that 41 private schools should refund the excess fees they had charged from parents of students in 2009 with interest.

A three-member committee, headed by former Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Anil Dev Singh, set up in 2011, examined the financial records of 81 schools on a random basis out of total 1,172 schools and submitted its sixth interim report before the bench headed by Justice B D Ahmed.

With this report, the committee has so far examined the financial records of 741 private schools in the city.

In the report, the committee said many schools "unjustly" increased the fees, and recommended that all of them refund the same with 9 per cent interest to the parents.

"The committee has recommended refund of fee unjustly hiked by 41 schools. Among them are 7 schools, where the committee, besides recommending refund, has also recommended special inspection to be carried out by the Director of Education.

"In respect of 34 out of 41 schools, the committee has found that the fee hike effected by them in pursuance of the order dated February 11, 2009 issued by the Director of Education was either wholly or partially unjustified...," the report said.

The bench, also comprising Justice Siddharth Mridul, has fixed the matter for further hearing on October 28 while directing the Delhi government to file a status report on the "implementation of the recommendations".

In August 2011, Delhi High Court had set up the committee to scrutinise the accounts of various unaided private schools to determine the validity of the city government's February 2009 notification permitting them to hike tuition fees.

The order had come on a petition filed by an NGO, Social Jurists, through advocate Ashok Agarwal alleging that schools had hiked the fees "unreasonably" but they failed to pay the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff as per the Sixth Pay Commission.

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