HC panel to examine Delhi private school fees hike

Last Updated: Friday, August 12, 2011 - 22:22

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday set up
a committee headed by a former judge to examine a city
government notification permitting unaided private schools to
hike their tuition fees.



A division bench of justices A K Sikri and Siddharth
Mridul said the committee, headed by former judge Anil Dev
Singh, will audit the accounts of each of the schools to
ascertain if the hike was required.
The bench authorised to committee to scrutinise the
accounts of minority schools as well.



"If the committee finds that the hike was not required,
the schools are bound to return the money to students with 9
per cent interest rate," the bench said in a 143-page verdict.



The committee will also comprise J S Kochar, a chartered
accountant, and an official from the Directorate of Education,
to be nominated by the Delhi government`s chief secretary.



The bench made it clear that the city government`s 2009
notification will be treated as an interim measure but it
would be subject to the scrutiny.



The court suggested the city government to create a
permanent regulatory authority, either by amending the
Education Act or by enacting a new legislation, to resolve the
issue of periodic hike in tuition fee.
It also suggested the Central government to frame a
national policy on fees for unaided schools.



The bench`s order came on a PIL which had alleged that
despite CAG`s indictment of 25 private schools for accounting
malpractices including faking losses, the city government has
allowed them to hike tuition fee.



The bench had reserved its order on May 13 after counsel
for the petitioner, the city government and various private
schools had completed their arguments on the issue of fee
hike.



Earlier, the bench had sought Comptroller and Auditor
General`s (CAG) report while hearing the PIL filed by Delhi
Abhibhavak Mahasangh through its counsel Ashok Aggarwal,
challenging the city government`s decision to allow schools to
hike tuition and development fees.



The government notification, which was issued on February
12, 2009, had said that any school, which was charging a
monthly fee of Rs 500, will be allowed to hike Rs 100.
Likewise, any school charging a monthly fee of Rs 1,000 will
be allowed to effect a maximum hike of Rs 200.



Schools with a monthly fee of Rs 1,500 were allowed to
hike tuition fees by Rs 300 and those having a fee structure
ranging from above Rs 1,500 to Rs 2000 were allowed to hike it
by a sum not more than Rs 400.



The rest of the schools with monthly fees of more than Rs
2,000 were allowed by the notification to hike it by only Rs
500.



The Delhi Cabinet had approved the hike ranging from a
minimum of Rs 100 to a maximum of Rs 500 in the schools to
ease their financial burden due to hike in teachers’ salaries
as per Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.



PTI



First Published: Friday, August 12, 2011 - 22:22

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