Jammu and Kashmir High Court has issued a contempt notice to an organisation of private schools for wrong interpretation of its orders over charging of fees for the months of September-October last year during which educational institutions were closed due to floods.
The notice was issued yesterday to G N Var of Joint Committee of Private Schools (JCPS) for claiming that the High Court had allowed the schools to charge all kinds of fees, including for the September-October period, despite the court directions to the contrary.
JCPS, in a statement on Monday, said the schools will "go by the High Court order which has given them liberty to collect all types of fees as in August 2014."
After last year's floods, the court issued directions to all the schools not to charge tuition and bus fee from students for the September and October. And if any school had already charged the fee, the court directed that the same may be adjusted in the future months.
While disposing of a PIL, the court last month also directed schools not to increase the tuition fee as well as bus fee and charge it as in vogue in August last year, until it was decided by the panel.
The PIL filed by parents' body had also charged that schools with fleecing them by selling books, stationery and identity cards to students at exorbitant costs.
The counsel for the petitioner said the management of private schools not only started pressurising the students to pay the fees for the two months but also enhanced it exorbitantly.
Meanwhile, the government has assured the court that it will not allow private schools to charge fee for the two months when schools in Kashmir were closed due to floods.
The government also told the court that no school will be allowed to increase tuition fee unless cleared by the committee to be constituted for fixing fee of private schools.
Commissioner Secretary, Education, Shalin Kabra, who was summoned by the division bench comprising justices N Paul Vasanthakumar and Ali Muhamamd Magrey, assured the court that a circular will be issued by the government asking the private schools not to recover fee for September and October 2014 and if recovered the same shall be adjusted in the future months.
The circular, the commissioner secretary told the court, will indicate that no increase of fee will be allowed to be made by school management unless cleared by the committee.
"The commissioner is required to produce the circular," the court said while listing the case on July 14.
Kabra informed the court that the process to nominate a retired judge as chairman of the committee for fixing fee in private schools has been initiated and chairman of the committee will be nominated soon.