Excess fee refund: HC asks govt for report

The court refused to pass coercive orders, noting that it 'did not want to bring the education system to a standstill'.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: December 6, 2014 1:29:16 am

The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Directorate of Education (DoE) to submit a status report on the steps taken to ensure that schools, indicted by the Justice Anil Dev Singh committee for having charged excess school fee, actually refund the money.

“Implement what you can, file a status report,” the court of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said.

Advocate Ashok Aggarwal, appearing on behalf of petitioner — Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh — argued that contempt of court action should be initiated against the schools to compel them to refund the money.

The court, however, refused to pass coercive orders, noting that it “did not want to bring the education system to a standstill”.
Till date, the Justice Anil Dev Singh Committee has filed seven interim reports, recommending that 441 schools, including several premier schools, should refund the “excess” school fee. The committee is in the process of analysing the finances of 1,172 unaided private schools in Delhi, and has submitted reports on 811 schools.

Meanwhile, Summerfields School, Kailash Colony, filed a separate plea against the committee report, which states that the excess fee be returned with 9 per cent interest.

Senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, appearing for the school, argued that the report was “not binding” and that the DoE had not created any mechanism to review the recommendations.

“The report is, prima facie, incorrect as it does not take into account the huge expenditure on repair work done by the school,” Gupta said.
However, DoE counsel Avnish Ahlawat said there was “no need” for a review as the committee had given every opportunity to the school to present its arguments.

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