Saturday, February 4, 2023

Franchisee schools: Delhi HC adjourns petition seeking a probe into pacts between educational societies, schools

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned a petition seeking an inquiry into the “nature of agreements and transactions between educational societies and franchisee schools and to take appropriate action against them”.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla adjourned the matter to May 5, 2022 upon hearing that Advocate Imtiaz Ahmed for the petitioner had passed due to Covid. The Court granted the petitioners further time to file the fresh vakalatnama.

The petitioners have sought the quashing of

“the illegal joint venture agreements and memorandum of understandings entered into by respondent 5 (DPSS) and other similarly placed societies pertaining to granting of/operation of franchisee schools.”

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According to the petition, DPSS generates around Rs 30-35 crore annually from its franchisee schools, in India and abroad, by charging lakhs as annual maintenance fees. Apart from that, the society at the time of entering into an agreement with a franchisee also charges around Rs 25 lakh for use of its brand name and logo, the petition has claimed.

On the last date of hearing, the Court had directed the petitioner to file an affidavit disclosing other schools that have appointed franchisees, since they were of the view that this public interest litigation cannot be sustained only against one particular organization or trust.

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