New Delhi: A provision in city government`s February 2009 notification, stipulating unaided private schools to hike their fees only with the concurrence of their
Parents Teachers Association is illegal, Delhi High Court held on Saturday.
While setting up a three-member panel yesterday to scrutinise the accounts of various unaided private schools, to determine the validity of the notification prescribing a fee hike slab, a bench of Justices AK Sikri and Siddharth Mridul
said, "The (PTA consultation) clause is clearly illegal and is not supported by any statutory or legal provisions".
The bench said the clause in the notification was also contrary to the provision of Section 17(3) of the Delhi Education Act, according to which, even the permission of the Directorate of Education is not required to hike the fee.
"Asking the schools to be at the mercy of PTAs for making further increase would clearly be contrary to the said provision. We, thus, hold that this clause is not valid," the bench said in its 134-page judgement.
"Likewise, we are of the opinion that even the requirement of seeking approval of the school accounts by PTA would not hold water and is not legally valid," it added.
The bench`s order came on a public interest lawsuit, which had questioned the February 2009 notification, allowing the schools to raise their fees to generate additional fund to pay their teachers a salary recommended to their counterparts
in government schools.
The lawsuit had challenged the notification after the CAG, following a sample survey and audit of 25 schools` account concluded that the permission to the schools to hike their fees on the pretext of paying higher salaries was not
warranted, as the schools were already flush with funds to meet the obligation.