The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday made it clear that fees charged by private minority schools could be regulated.
Six minorities-run schools of the city had objected to information sought pertaining to charging of fees demanded by a three-member panel constituted on the directions of the High Court.
An objection to regulation of school fees was also raised. Justice (retd) R S Mongia,who is head of the panel,wrote a letter to the High Court bringing to its notice the objections raised by the six schools.
In its report,submitted before the court,the panel has submitted that six schools Carmel Convent school,Sector 9; St. Xaviers,Sector 44; Mount Carmel,Sector 47; St Johns,Sector 26; St. Annes,Sector 32; and St Marys School,Sector 46 have objected to providing information to the panel saying that they are minorities-run institutions and cannot be asked to provide such information.
These institutions have claimed the protection of Section 2 of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act for not providing the information to the panel. Taking cognisance of the report sent by Justice Mongia,the High Court chose to decide it on the judicial side.
Referring to a previous order passed by a former Chief Justice of the High Court,a Division Bench made it clear that the objections raised by the schools had already been dealt with and decided by the High Court and that fees charged by minorities-run schools could be regulated. The petition was disposed of.
The panel was appointed on the directions of the High Court in April this year to go into the accounts of the schools and find out the reasonableness of increase in fees by the schools.
Appointed on April 9 this year on the directions of the then Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri,the committee was authorised to specifically look into the aspects of how much fee increase was required by each individual school on the examination of records and accounts of these schools and taking into consideration the funds available at the disposal of the schools.
The panel was constituted after hearing a bunch of petitions on undue fee hike by unaided private educational institutions in Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh.