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HC sets aside AAP govt order, gives fee relief to schools

March 16, 2019 06:45 AM

COURTESY TOI MARCH 16

HC sets aside AAP govt order, gives fee relief to schools
Abhinav.Garg@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

Hundreds of private unaided schools in the capital got relief from the Delhi high court on Friday as it quashed a 2018 circular of AAP government barring fee hike.


Justice C Hari Shankar also faulted the government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) for withdrawing in April 2018, the permission given six months prior to private schools to hike fee and pay revised salaries to teachers as per the 7th pay commission recommendations.

While the schools interpreted Friday’s verdict in their favour, claiming it allows them to hike fee, government sources downplayed it, pointing out even the original nod to hike fee, given in October 2017, was subject to a detailed audit of school funds.

Only if an audit found schools had no funds, could the fee hike be justified, else the money had to be refunded, sources said, adding that already DoE has rejected fee hike request of more than 40 schools.

However, further details from the order will be known only when the verdict is made public. Though pronounced on Friday, till late evening the judgment was not uploaded on the court website.

Justice Shankar’s decision came on a plea filed by the association of unaided recognised private schools in the capital, challenging the government’s sudden withdrawal of the circular allowing fee hike.

In its order, the government had also barred the schools in the national capital from hiking fees with retrospective effect to implement the 7th Central Pay Commission’s (CPC) recommendations. This meant that the interim increase in fees permitted since October 2017 by the government had to be refunded.

The schools had questioned the reversal of stand arguing that earlier permission by DoE was “unreasonably withdrawn with retrospective effect” by the April 13, 2018 circular and it showed the Delhi government was delaying implementation of the 7th pay commission’s recommendations in private unaided recognised schools for paying increased salaries and allowances to their teachers and other staff members.

The private schools association had said any delay in implementing 7th pay commission recommendations would lead to exodus of teachers from schools. It argued that while the government and aided schools can draw sustenance from the exchequer for payments to be made towards increased salaries and allowances, private institutions are entirely dependent on fees received from students to meet such liabilities

 
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