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19 international schools under govt scanner

mumbai Updated: Mar 05, 2011 01:28 IST
Urvi Mahajani
Urvi Mahajani
Hindustan Times
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An inquiry has been initiated against 19 international schools for allegedly charging high capitation fees.

The state government has asked the deputy director of education to conduct an inquiry against the 19 schools mentioned in the public interest litigation, filed by Forum for Fairness in Education.

The deputy director of education has also been asked to inspect their books of accounts and determine whether there are any irregularities.

The Bombay high court was hearing the PIL on Friday, which seeks inquiry into the financial affairs of all international schools in the state to verify the amount of capitation fee collected. The chief minister and education minister have been added as respondents in the PIL.

Additional government pleader Anjali Helekar said the report is expected by April 30.

The government is also in the process of revising the bill to control high capitation fees charged by international schools. The state will consider the issue of high admission fees, security deposits and other charges in the proposed bill, which has been put up on its website.

Helekar said they have called for objections and suggestions from schools and parents.

The division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Amjad Sayed asked the petitioner to submit objections or suggestions to the government for the revised bill.

The petitioner’s advocates, AL Gore and Kashyap Bhalerao, contended that these schools charge high fees under non-prescribed heads, thus violating rules. Gore argued that the schools charge an average Rs 2.5 lakh fees per annum. He also sought an interim order until the report was received, but the court refused to do so.

The PIL alleges that despite the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Capitation Fee) Act, to deal with educational institutes demanding capitation fees, the government does not take any action.

These schools charge extra amount under categories such as admission fees, imprest money and technical upgrade, which is another form of capitation fees, contended the PIL.

The PIL prays for setting up of a committee to scrutinise the accounts of all schools that charge more than Rs 4,000 as tuition fees annually.