Court holds school guilty for demanding donation in 2003

A District Court in Delhi has ended a mother’s nine-year battle for justice against a school that had thrown out her child because she could pay a donation of Rs 25,000.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: July 30, 2012 1:28:13 am

A District Court in Delhi has ended a mother’s nine-year battle for justice against a school that had thrown out her child because she could pay a donation of Rs 25,000.

Making its point clear that a “school is a pious institute meant for imparting education and not a place of extorting money”,the court ordered Rohini-based Mount Abu Public School to pay Anu Jain a compensation of Rs 1,000 with interest since 2003 and the expenses of the long litigation.

In 2003,the school issued a transfer certificate to Naman Jain,a student of Class 1,and barred him from attending classes after his parents were unable to pay Rs 25,000 as donation in addition to the admission fee.

Anu,the child’s mother,initially approached the Delhi Education department. When nothing came of it, she filed a civil suit. The case dragged on for eight years.

Last year,the trial court dismissed her petition on technical grounds,forcing Anu to file an appeal in a higher court.

Anu had asked for a “token compensation” Rs 1,000 for the “shock and anxiety”,but it went against her in the trial court judgment. The court said the “nominal amount” suggested that the demand for donation was false.

Months later,hearing the appeal,District and Additional Sessions Judge O P Gupta said it was a “brave” lawsuit because “there are persons who fight for principle and not for money”. He also called the school “callous and insensitive”.

The school authorities pleaded not guilty,saying it didn’t make any demand for donation and could not be held liable for mental trauma because the child had been admitted to a different school.

District and Additional Sessions Judge Gupta dismissed the school’s argument. “Simply because the child got admission in another reputed school does not absolve the defendant of its liability to compensate the plaintiff for the agony she suffered. No school has the right to spoil the career of the student in this manner,” the court said.

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