Cal HC admits PIL seeking waiver of school fees in covid time

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Kolkata, Jun 4 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court on Friday admitted for hearing a PIL by guardians of students of a school seeking reduction in school fees in view of the ongoing pandemic situation in West Bengal.

The petitioner, parents of students of a school in Purba Medinipur district, prayed for application of an order of the high court, passed in 2020, that directed 145 schools which were respondents in a PIL to reduce fees by 20 per cent for the 2021-22 financial year.

'This is a fit case, considering the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, to be entertained as Public Interest Litigation,' a division bench comprising justices I P Mukerji and Moushumi Bhattacharya observed while admitting the petition for hearing.

The petitioner was directed to serve notices of the application on the 145 schools involved in the earlier litigation resulting in the order of October 13, 2020, and also upon the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Central Board of Secondary Education, and the petitioners in the earlier appeals before the court.

The division bench directed that the matter be listed for further consideration on June 18.

The high court had on October 13, 2020, directed that there would be no increase in the school fees during the financial year 2020-21 and that from the month beginning April 2020 till the month following the one in which the schools reopen in the physical mode all the 145 schools which were involved in that litigation would offer a minimum 20 per cent reduction of fees across the board.

It had been further ordered that non-essential charges for use of facilities not availed of would not be permissible.

The petitioners prayed for the application of that order to all the students in schools in West Bengal for the financial year 2021-22. PTI AMR MM MM

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