The Thane office of assistant commissioner of social welfare has recently issued a show-cause notice to Vashi-based Motilal Jhunjhunwala college for demanding fees meant for open category students from its Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) students.
Demanding fees meant to be paid by open category students from SC and ST students is an offence under The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of atrocities) Act, 1989.
In the notice, sent on September 28, Assistant Commissioner Balbhim Shinde has asked the college to respond why an offence under the Act should not be filed against it. “In case no response is received, it will be assumed that the college accepts its culpability and the offence is true,” the letter added.
The notice comes after the Ambedkar Students Union lodged a complaint with the social welfare department regarding the matter. Fee receipts of a few SC and ST students (accessed by The Indian Express) shows they have paid the same amount as general category students.
When contacted, college Principal Poonam Singh said, “The institution has suffered a loss of Rs 45 lakh, as the students who receive this benefit from the government did not fill up their forms properly and the college ended up not receiving direct funds from the department. The issue is being wrongly highlighted by the students. We are here to help them.”
On September 29, the higher education department’s Konkan division had also written to the college over not starting online classes until all students paid the fees.
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