Panel suggests Mumbai school, which expelled 70 students, collect the disputed fees on escrow
Mumbai city news: The school’s chairman said the committee asked them to consider readmitting the children on humanitarian groundsmumbai Updated: Jun 02, 2017 00:10 IST
The state’s divisional fee regulatory panel has suggested that the Dahisar school, which expelled 70 students for not paying the hiked fees, readmit them and collect the dues but keep it on escrow till the dispute ends.
An escrow is a bond, deed, or other document kept in the custody of a third party that takes effect only when a specified condition has been fulfilled.
The panel held a meeting with parents’ representatives and management of the Universal High School, Dahisar, on Thursday. Offering suggestions to resolve the fee hike row, the panel said the school and parents can enter into an agreement in which the school readmits the children and parents pay the hiked fees for the time being. “The school can keep the amount with a third party and dispense it later based on the conclusion of the case,” said BB Chavan, deputy director of education, Mumbai region and secretary to the panel.
The school’s chairman said the committee asked them to consider readmitting the children on humanitarian grounds. “We have agreed to readmit students if they pay fees within two days and agree to abide by the rules and regulations of the school in the future,” said Jesus Lall, chairman of the school.
“The panel has no jurisdiction in this issue because the parents have not filed any official complaint with them,” added Lall.
But the parents were against it. “If we would have wanted to pay the fees, we would have done that in the beginning itself. We are not paying the fees because we feel the hike is unjustified,” said one of the parents.
The panel was set up as the appellate authority under the Maharashtra Educational Institutions Collection of Fee Regulation Act, 2011.
“The panel intervened on the Tawde’s request, but we asked the parents to appeal to us following legal procedure. We will formally hear the case, once that is done,” said Chavan.
For the past four months, the school management and parents have been locked in a dispute over a 14% hike in school fees — from Rs 96,000 to Rs 1.2 lakh. The parents had also complained about this to education minister Vinod Tawde.
On May 26, the school wrote to the students’ parents informing them that their children had been “de-enrolled” for not paying the hiked fees. Tawde also threatened to shut the school by cancelling its ‘no-objection certificate’ (NoC) if the 70 students were not readmitted.