Nearly 13 lakh students from the backward classes studying in un-aided private schools across the state received a major reprieve on Thursday with the Bombay high court directing the state government to calculate and disburse their tuition fees at new rates suggested by a state-appointed committee.
The committee had suggested reimbursement at the rate of Rs100 per month for students in the primary section, Rs150 for students from Class 5 to 7 and Rs200 for students from Class 8 to 10.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice DG Karnik directed the state government to work out the amount to be reimbursed on a monthly basis within two weeks and disburse the amounts to respective schools in two weeks thereafter.
The judges were also irked to find that the state was paying tuition fees at the rate of Rs3, 4 and 5 per month for the three category of students fixed in 1970.
The court directed the state government to adopt the first option recommended by its own committee appointed on February 18 last year. The option entails an additional annual burden of Rs226.20 crore on the state exchequer, which was the reason why the state cabinet discarded the report of the committee.
The court was hearing petitions filed by Chembur-resident Naresh Gosavi, a vegetable vendor, and Narayan Guru High School in Chembur.