The Delhi Government on Friday told the high court that it has begun issuing notices to 64 private unaided schools in the capital that had unjustifiably hiked tuition fees in 2009.
These schools will be asked to refund the excess amount to the parents along with an interest of 9%.
The refund will include all arrears, subsequent hike in fee and development fee. A three-member committee headed by former Rajasthan High Court chief justice Anil Dev Singh, set up last year, had examined the financial records of 200 schools on a random basis out of a total 1,172 schools and submitted its first report before the court.
They had probed if the 25% fee hike effected by all schools was justified. The panel in its report submitted to the court on August 31 indicted 64 schools, 12 of them belonging to the group of Guru Harkishan Public Schools. It found that the schools effected the fee hike but did not increase the salary of the teachers.
The government had allowed the schools to hike fees up to 25% to enable them to implement the sixth pay commission report which recommended upward revision of its staff salary.
The court had ordered the inspection of the schools' accounts acting on a PIL filed by a parents' body through lawyer Ashok Agarwal. The court made it clear that the government cannot issue a blanket notification permitting all private schools to hike tuition fees by a certain%age and it should be based on the financial health of each school.
"The report vindicates the stand of the parents that the fee hike was illegal and schools were indulging in commercial exploitation", said Aggarwal.
The panel had slammed the Delhi Government for having no control over the functioning of the private schools saying that the schools enjoyed unbridled freedom.