Parents to HC: Attach accounts of schools defying order to refund excess fees
As many as 457 private schools have defied a Delhi High Court order to refund excess fee collected from students with nine percent interest, claimed a PIL filed in the court on Wednesday.
The Delhi High Court had directed 575 private schools on May 16 to return excess fees collected from students and to comply with the recommendations of Justice Anil Dev Singh Committee within a week.
However, only 118 schools have complied with the court’s directive while the remaining 457 failed to honour the order.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL), in this matter was filed by an NGO called Social Jurist, which has alleged that along with the schools, the Delhi government too was responsible for this failure.
The court has now issued notices to both the Delhi government and private schools to submit their reports regarding the matter within four weeks.
The petitioners (over 100 parents along with social jurist) have urged the court to direct the Delhi government to attach bank accounts of all private unaided schools that failed to refund the excess fee to parents.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal, who represented the petitioners in the court, spoke to City Spidey regarding the matter. He alleged that the Delhi government had done nothing so far to recover the excess fees charged by schools.
He claimed that the schools had asked the parents to pay excess fees from January 1, 2006 to 2009-10 on the pretext of implementing the 6th pay commission for their employees. He further added that more than 750 crore rupees needs to be refunded by the schools.
“The Delhi government is not taking the matter seriously. Whenever the court passes any directive, the government sends notices to the schools. However, the government needs to undertake concrete actions against these schools. That’s why we have urged the court to direct the government to attach the bank accounts of the schools who failed to comply with its directive,” Agrawal said.
In February 2009, the Delhi government had allowed private schools to increase their fees in order to pay teachers as per the sixth pay commission. The parents had then challenged the government‘s decision in the court.
However, the court had allowed the fee hike with the condition that schools would return the excess money taken from parents with an interest of 9 percent per annum.
Upon facing fresh objection from the parents, the Delhi High Court had formed a committee in August 2011 under the chairmanship of Justice Anil Dev Singh to verify whether or not the fee hike by the schools was required to pay the teachers and other school staff as per the sixth pay Commission.
The committee had then verified over 1100 private unaided schools in the city and told the court that 575 schools needed to refund the excess fees charged from parents.