HC warns institutions demanding full fee payment of contempt proceedings

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Chennai, July 31 (PTI): The Madras High Court said on Friday that it would not hesitate to initiate contempt of court proceedings against those in charge of private educational institutions demanding full annual fees payment, in violation of its order.

'This court is taking a very serious note of the violation that has been brought to its notice. Based on the oral complaint, the education department shall conduct an immediate inquiry.

If it is found that the institutions are collecting fees in violation of the interim orders passed by this court, immediate action shall be taken against them,' Justice N Anand Venkatesh said.

The issue pertains to various associations of educational institutions challenging a Tamil Nadu Government Order, prohibiting them from demanding fees from parents during the lockdown.

Apart from this, since fee fixed for some of these institutions had expired and fee fixation committees were yet to frame the new fee structure, it was agreed to fix 75 per cent of the fee collected in 2019 as this years annual fee provisionally.

The court had said that the remaining 35 per cent of the fee (deducting the 40 per cent advance) shall be collected within two months from the date of reopening of the institutions and commencement of physical classes.

When the court commenced proceedings on Friday,Additional Government Pleader V Annalakshmi made an urgent mention and submitted that the state was receiving many complaints from parents that schools/colleges were insisting on payment of the full fees in violation of the interim order.

He further submitted that parents were hesitant to give a written complaint, fearing consequences.

Taking serious note of it, Justice Anand Venkatesh issued the warning and directed the authorities to conduct an inquiry and file an Action Taken Report by August 17. PTI COR APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH