The Delhi High Court today restrained unaided private schools from charging fees on quarterly basis,saying the city government’s guidelines does not authorise them to do so.
The court also said parents are entitled to deposit the fees by 10th of the month in which they are due.
Allowing the plea of a group of parents against a school here,Justice Valmiki Mehta said,”Respondent 1 (school) is directed only to collect monthly fees from the wards of the petitioners and the respondent school will accordingly comply with the provisions of Rules 165 and 166 of Delhi School Education Rules.”
Referring to a circular issued by the Directorate of Education of Delhi government,the judge said,”In my opinion,though the circular on the first blush seems to refer to collection of fees on quarterly basis,however,a reading of the entire circular shows that the portion relied upon is only indication of the fact that there possibly is a practice or may be an earlier circular for collection of fees on quarterly basis.”
The court said,”This very circular does not authorise the private unaided schools to take fees on quarterly basis.
“In any case,the Director of Education has no power to issue circulars which will be in violation of statutory rules. Rules 165 and 166 are statutory in character.
“Once rules are statutory in character it is not possible for department to issue circulars in violation of these rules whereby fees can be allowed to be charged by a school otherwise than every month and which is payable by the 10th day of the month in which the fees become due.”
The court order came on the plea that the practice on the part of unaided private schools in Delhi to compel parents to
deposit fees on quarterly basis is “exploitative in character
and tantamount to commercialisation of education,which is
prohibited in law.”
The plea also said ” Such practice on the part of the schools is anti-child,violative of the fundamental and human rights of the parents as guaranteed to them under Articles 14,21,21A and 38 of the Constitution of India read with provisions of Delhi School Education Act and the rules made thereunder.”