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Kerala High Court raps CBSE over school fees

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The Kerala High Court questioned the state government regarding its plans to implement a circular directing schools to collect only expenses as fees this year in view of Covid-19 epidemic.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran was hearing a batch of writ petitions challenging excessive fees charged by CBSE-affiliated schools in the state amid the pandemic.

The Court sought the views of the government, in an interim order, after the court was told by Senior Government Pleader Nisha Bose that a circular was issued on December 2 asking all schools, including CBSE and ICSE ones, to collect only expenses as fees this academic year as previously suggested by the High Court.

Standing Counsel Nirmal S representing CBSE informed the court, on Wednesday, that it is not in a position to verify those statements and that it is powerless to enforce a circular against schools under it.

The Court remarked that, “It has thus now come about that the CBSE appears to be washing their hands of completely from the issue at hand and placing it squarely on the shoulders of the Government of Kerala.”

The petitioners before the Court were directed to remit the first term fees by the next date of hearing “as a final indulgence” in light of its earlier order requiring the petitioners to remit the amounts by November 20.

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The court also directed the government to inform it about setting up a mechanism for dealing with complaints of overcharging of fees by schools during the pandemic.

The court will hear the case next on December 17.

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