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HC unhappy with pace of CAG probe

delhi Updated: Aug 13, 2011 00:16 IST
Harish V Nair
Harish V Nair
Hindustan Times
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The Delhi high court on Wednesday expressed unhappiness at the slow pace of the Comptroller and Auditor General's office in probing if Delhi ’s private schools followed rules while hiking fees.

A bench of justices AK Sikri and Siddharth Mridul felt the need for a better regulator as CAG could only inspect 25 schools in the last two-and-a-half years.

The CAG had indicted 25 elite schools in Delhi for irregularities in the way they hiked fees.

“We want to highlight that in all these years the CAG has inspected only 25 schools, that too under pressure, which is one of the reasons given by us on the need for a Regulator,” said the bench, which has appointed a committee to review fee hike by schools.

The bench, however, refused to take action against the errant schools as demanded by lawyer Ashok Agarwal, who appeared for parents' bodies, saying : “It is for the government to take further steps after giving proper hearing to the schools.”

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

Schools had been asked to first utilise their existing reserves to pay salaries and to meet the deficit, if any, through hike in tuition fees.

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

The money collected from parents on the ground of the Pay Commission's burden was transferred to their societies and trusts. Schools which claimed to be making losses didn't hesitate to acquire expensive cars, the report said.