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The divisional bench of the District Fee Regulation Committee (DFRC), Pune, started the much-awaited hearing of pending cases against schools on Tuesday. Hundreds of parents and school representatives were present at the hearing.
The divisional bench, headed by retired judge J Shanbhag (DFRC), has deferred the matter to Wednesday, while the case against Hutchings School was dismissed altogether. During the hearing, parents and school representatives, armed with a battery of proofs, confronted each other.
In one case, parents even argued with DFRC members, as they allowed a school, Vibgyor High, to seek adjournment of the hearing for a few days over lack of documentation.The meeting began a little later than the scheduled time, around 12.40 pm.
The bench first heard the complaint filed by the parents of Dnyanganga School, who had complained about the non-formation of e-Parent Teacher Association and illegal fees hike. While parents produced a volley of documents and receipts to argue their points, school principal sought for more time to produce the documentation.
One after another, parents, representing PTA of several schools, were heard followed by the representatives of school managements.
At the outset of the meeting, DFRC chairman warned mediapersons not to report on any of the arguments during the hearing, stating that a copy of the judgement would be provided later. The first day was mainly for the arguments presented by the two parties.
On the complaints filed against Hutchings School, representing parents said their original complaint on school selling stationery has been resolved, as the school was now providing a list of books to be purchased from the market.
However, when school representative said he wanted to appeal on the same, the two parties were reminded that since a case was pending in the high court, the DFRC could not hear the matter.In another case, after parent representatives presented their case against Vibgyor School, school representative asked for a few days’ reprieve, to provide relevant documents.
When the DFRC allowed the party to do so after paying a fine, parents got into a heated argument.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Prajakta Pethkar, who was representing the parents, said the DFRC’s decision was not acceptable to parents. “When all the other schools had come with all the documents ready since they all got advance notice, why only Vibgyor School needs time? They only had to pay Rs 500 as fine and got more time,” she said.