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Fee hike: Parents' body moves HC

delhi Updated: Mar 19, 2011 00:26 IST
Harish V Nair
Harish V Nair
Hindustan Times
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Aggrieved by "illegal" fee hike by several private unaided schools, parents on Friday urged the Delhi high court to order the Directorate of Education (DoE) to implement recommendations of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

CAG had in its recent report indicted 25 top schools in the Capital, including DPS-RK Puram, Modern School-Barakhamba Road and Mount Carmel for resorting to accounting malpractices and faking financial losses to hike fees.

The directorate of education told the court that notices have already been issued to the 25 schools in January this year after the CAG findings.

Lawyer Ashok Aggarwal, appearing for NGO Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh that represents the parents, also demanded criminal action against the schools on the basis of the report.

The report also blamed "inadequate inspection" and "weak governance" on the part of the DoE for failing to notice the irregularities.

CAG had asked the government to evolve a comprehensive fee structure, clearly defining each component and fixed an upper limit for hike.

It also said parent-teachers' association of schools should be consulted before imposing any fee hike. CAG had also wanted the DoE to monitor submission of annual returns by private schools and had said that schools must upload their annual accounts on their website.

Justice AK Sikri and justice Siddharth Mridul are currently hearing petitions filed by parents, challenging the 25% fee hike by schools permitted by the February 2009 notification of the government.

Schools had demanded a fee hike to enable them to bear the additional burden created by the upward revision of pay scales of teachers and other staff recommended by the Sixth Pay Commission.

The CAG report had said 25 schools had passed on the additional burden of implementing the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations on to the parents, without drawing on the free cash reserves they had accumulated in the past.

Schools were asked by the DoE to first utilise their existing reserves to pay salaries and meet the deficit, if any, through hike in tuition fee.

"Out of 25 schools, over 13 had unauthorisedly collected Rs 13.08 crore and placed the avoidable burden on the parents", the report had said.

The money collected from parents on the ground of the pay commission was transferred to their societies and trusts.

Schools which claimed to be making losses didn't hesitate to acquire expensive cars, the report had noted.