A Delhi high court-appointed committee has indicted 64 private schools in the Capital for unjustifiably hiking tuition fees in 2009 and recommended that the amount increased be refunded to parents with 9% interest.
The refund will include arrears, subsequent hikes in fee and development fee. The Delhi government had allowed schools to hike fees by up to 25% to enable them to implement the sixth pay commission report, which recommended upward revision of staff salary.
The committee looked at the accounts of 200 out of 1,800 city private schools. It found that 64 - including 13 belonging to the Guru Harkishan Public Schools group - effected the fee hike but did not increase teachers' salaries.
"They capitalised on the government order for unjust enrichment, causing great prejudice to students and parents," the three-member panel said in its interim report submitted to the court. It also slammed the government for having no control over the functioning of these schools. "They enjoyed unbridled freedom in acting in the manner they like."
The court had ordered the inspection of school accounts on a public interest litigation filed by a parents' body.