Mumbai: In a setback to the Maharashtra
government, the Bombay High Court today set aside its decision
to constitute a committee for examining and approving fees of
private, unaided schools.
As a result, unaided schools would be able to decide
their own fees.
According to the government resolution issued in July,
a committee headed by deputy divisional director of education
was to approve the fees of unaided schools.
It was challenged by Unaided Schools Forum and others
on the grounds that in the wake of Supreme Court`s decision in
TMA Pai case, the state had no power to regulate the fees of
The state had, however, argued that Prohibition of
Capitation Act 1987, gave it this power.
But today the division bench of justices D K Deshmukh
and N D Deshpande said the present government resolution, as
well as an old 1999 resolution on which it was modelled,
"cannot be related to the 1987 Act".
As per 1987 Act, state itself has the power to
regulate fees, but this power can not delegated to committee,
the high court said.
The petitioners had argued that since Supreme Court
had accepted that running an education institute was part of
fundamental right to carry on trade, even the 1987 Act was
unconstitutional, but the court today said it was not deciding
this aspect as it was not relevant.