Parents upset with Delhi HC quashing DoE order on annual, development fee collection by pvt schools

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New Delhi, May 31 (PTI) Parents in the national capital are upset over Delhi High Court's order quashing the directive by Delhi government prohibiting schools from collecting annual charges and development fees.

According to the Delhi Parents Association, the order will give free hand to private schools and parents will be left at their mercy.

'The order passed by the High Court today is not only against the Directorate of Education (DoE) or parents but it is totally against the lakhs of students studying in private schools. It shows that education department could not present it's case strongly and the high court came up with a one sided order,' President of the association Aparajita Gautam.

'This judgement is going to give free hand to all private schools. It will force thousands of students to discontinue their studies as they will not get transfer certificate without paying arrears. This will leave parents and innocent students at the mercy of private schools,' she added.

The Delhi High Court said on Monday the Delhi government has no power to indefinitely postpone collection of annual charges and development fees by private unaided schools as it would unreasonably restrict their functioning.

The court quashed the office orders of April and August 2020 issued by the DoE of the Delhi government forbidding and postponing collection of annual charges and development fees, saying they were 'illegal' and 'ultra vires the powers of the respondent (DoE) stipulated under the Delhi School Education (DSE) Act and the Rules.

'The High Court did not consider the financial crisis of parents caused by the pandemic and why should these heads should be charged in fees when schools are closed,' said Priyatama, who has two school going children.

Her views were echoed by Sumit Balwan, a real estate agent who said, 'Work like mine has been considerably dull during the pandemic but there is no respite from school fees. Whatever relief we had is also gone now'.

Agreeing with the schools' contentions, the high court said private recognised unaided schools were 'clearly dependent only on the fees collected to cover their salary, establishment and all other expenditure'.

'Any regulations or order which seek to restrict or in-definitely postpone their powers to collect normal and usual fees as is sought to be done by the impugned orders is bound to create grave financial prejudice and harm to the schools,' it said.

The high court further said the scope of power and authority of the DoE to interfere with the fixation and collection of fees by unaided educational institutions was well defined. PTI GJS RHL

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