Pointing to the Delhi School Education Rules,the Delhi High Court on Wednesday restrained private unaided schools in the city from charging fee on a quarterly basis.
Justice Valmiki J Mehta,while allowing a writ petition by a group of parents against the Summer Fields School,said schools could not charge fee in advance for more than one month at a time. The court said parents are entitled to deposit the fee by the 10th of the month in which they are due.
Noting the text of the Delhi School Education Act and the Delhi School Education Rules of 1973,the court said a reading of Rule 165 shows that fees have to be paid by a student by the 10th day of the month for which they are due and Rule 166 provides for late payment of fees.
The school had argued that a circular issued by the Directorate of Education in 1990 allowed schools to charge fee on a quarterly basis. But Justice Mehta refused to entertain the plea,stating that the rules made under the Act could not be changed by an order of the Director of Education.
This very circular does not authorise private unaided schools to take fee on quarterly basis. In any case,the Director of Education has no power to issue circulars which will be in violation of statutory rules, the court said.
The parents had filed a petition in the High Court in 2010 stating that the practice of schools was not only contrary to provisions of the Delhi School Education Act,but was also exploitative in character and tantamount to commercialisation of education.