The Bombay high court (HC) has directed the Maharashtra government to submit a detailed report clarifying its jurisdiction over administrative matters such as admissions and expulsion of students and fee hike among other things, of private unaided schools in the state.
The HC has demanded that the state explain whether it has any obligation to exercise supervision over such schools in case the school management takes any decision that might go against the welfare of its students.
It has also has also directed all parties t o submit t heir replies in four weeks’ time.
The high court’s order follows a plea filed by the parents of a 14-year-old boy who was expelled by a school in Pimpri, Pune, after they opposed the ‘arbitrary’ fee hike imposed by the school and filed a police case against the school management.
A bench of justice Anoop V Mohta and justice VL Achiliya have now directed that as interim relief the student must be reinstated in the school immediately for the academic year 2015-16.
While the court has directed that the petitioners also clear all fee arrears for their child, it has directed the school management authorities to explain their drastic action.
“Is there a specific provision that allows you to take such action against any student? Which Act or statute were you following while expelling him because of a row with his parents? And, did the management consider the issue of the child’s welfare and the principles of natural justice?” the HC said.
The state has told the court that in case of unaided schools, its power to take action against them is “restricted to a scenario whereby such schools flout the provisions mentioned in the NOC granted for the International Baccalaureate.”
While the petitioners have sought that their child be reinstated in Gyan Ganga international, the school management has argued in court that the “fee hike was in the interest of the students” and hence, when the parents registered FIRs against them, they conducted a meeting of the staff and senior authorities and decided to expel the student.
According to the state government, there are three other schools in the vicinity that have vacant seats and can accommodate the student.