Ghaziabad: The battle between the school and parents over the fees does not seem to end soon. Now, the DPS Indirapuram Parents Welfare Association are accusing the school of denying admit cards to some of the students for X and XII board examinations due in March 2020.
The school management even sent legal notices to a number of parents for failure to pay up the hiked fees.
Priyanka Rana, president of the parents' association was among those who received the legal notice. Her wards too have allegedly been denied the admit cards.
"My daughter is denied the admit card. She is to appear for X board exams. I contacted the school administration. It referred the matter to the finance department. The finance department told me point-blank to pay up the hiked fee if she wanted to get the admit card," said Rana.
Like her, she said there were many parents whose wards have been denied the admit cards. She called it another ploy of the school to extort money from the parents.
Meanwhile, CitySpidey spoke to the principal of the school Sangeeta Hejela. She dismissed the allegation of denying admit cards as absolutely baseless.
However, Rana countered the principal's denial asking how is it that of all the students appearing for the board exams only those whose parents have not paid the hiked fees were singled out for denial of the admit cards.
When posed this question to Hajela, she assured issuance of the cards (admit cards) to the students when they are due. But she did not specify the timing.
As for the parents who received the legal notices, Rana put their number at 170.
The notice set a 15-day deadline for the parents to clear the dues. Interestingly, the notice also compels them to pay up an additional sum of Rs 5,500 as "counsel fee".
The principal defended the notice saying the school was only following a judicial process. "A proper judicial procedure is being followed by us. There's no scope for doubtfulness in this," she said.
This is not the first time the DPS Indirapuram has courted controversy over fees. In 2018, the school had denied entry to six students over the same issue. The parents have been accusing the school of harassment and discrimination against the students whose parents had decided not to pay the unduly hiked fee.
In October 2019, the parents' association had registered a complaint against the school in Indirapuram police station. They told CitySpidey that they only followed the District Fee Regulatory Committee's order.
The DFRC, in 2019, had ordered the school to roll back the fee hike for the academic session of 2019-20. Subsequently, the school challenged the order in the high court and was able to take a stay on it.
Meanwhile, Shivani Jain, an education activist, took up the matter with the district administration. The ASPA members met District Magistrate (DM) Ajay Shankar Pandey and complained against the alleged denial of fees and school's demand of covering legal expense by the parents.
She said, "The parents have paid the fees as per the order of the District Fee Regulatory Committee. They have done nothing wrong. The school can't use such measures to force parents."