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Private Schools Cannot Demand Consolidated Fees: Delhi HC

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The Delhi High Court ordered that the parents can write to Directorate of Education if a school demands consolidated fees, without distinguishing the various heads.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Rajat Vats, appearing in person through video conferencing seeking relaxation or suspension on fees of Private Schools of any nature in the State of NCT of Delhi in terms of transportation or other charges except tuition fees for the month of April, May and June 2020 on account of the COVID 19 pandemic which has affected the entire world.

The petitioner, Advocate Rajat Vats appearing in person submitted that during the lockdown period students of private schools in Delhi may not to be made to pay the transport charges, fee for extra-curricular activities and other fees. “Since, schools are not functioning, payment of tuition fees be also postponed”, Vats added.

Advocate Ramesh Singh appearing for Delhi Government informed the court that Government is aware about the issue raised in the petition and Directorate of Education has already passed an order on 17th April, 2020 to the effect that no fees except tuition fees be charged.

Mr. Vats contended that may parents have already deposited the fee other than the tuition fee in advance, adjusted of the same may be granted by the court. However, Mr. Singh addressing the contention submitted that no order is needed to be passed, Government will consider this submission on its own.

The Court observed that it is clear from the order passed by the government that the authorities have already addressed the issue and barred the charging of any fees other than tuition fees. 

Justice Prathiba M. Singh further added that “Insofar as the tuition fee is concerned, the charging of the same would be justified in view of the fact that almost all the schools are conducting online classes and the teachers are discharging their functions by imparting course work over online platforms, checking project work online, etc…”

Mr. Vats further submitted that some schools are demanding consolidated fees, without distinguishing the various heads like tuition fees, transport fees, co-curricular fees, etc. Whereas, the court while disposing of the petition and addressing the concern stated that, “If there is any specific complaint against any particular school, the parents concerned would be entitled to bring the same to the notice of the Directorate of Education, which shall take steps in accordance with law.”

-India Legal Bureau

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