The Delhi High Court on Monday said the private unaided schools in the national capital can collect annual school fees from their students as fixed but by providing deduction of 15 per cent on that amount in lieu of unutilised facilities by the students during the lockdown period.
“The amount payable by concerned students will be paid in six monthly installments w.e.f 10.06.2021,” said Justice Jayant Nath in the order.
This means that private schools in the capital are no longer restricted to only collecting tuition fees from its students. It also means that the amount payable as directed by the court can now be collected retrospectively for the year 2020-2021 from students from June 10.
In the early days of the 2020 national lockdown, in April, the Delhi government had issued an order stating, “No fee, except tuition fee, will be charged from parents during the lockdown period.” The tuition fees were to be collected on a monthly basis as opposed to in lump sums such as on a quarterly or annual basis. The order had gone on to state: “Annual and Development charges can be charged from the parents, on pro rata basis, only on monthly basis after completion of lockdown period.”
In August, many schools had begun collecting annual fees on a pro rata basis since phased unlocking was taking place in the city. However, the government doubled down on its April order on the grounds that schools were still physically closed. It stated that restrictions in fee collection continued to stand because “unlocking stage is still going on in phase manner hence, complete lockdown is yet to be over and schools are yet to be open for physical class room learning”.
These have remained the standing orders from the government and no fresh directives were issued after this, and several school associations and school management societies approached the court to plead against the orders.
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