Of the 19 international schools against which the state government has initiated an inquiry on allegations of charging capitation fees, only nine have provided information. Four schools have provided partial information, whereas six have given no information at all.
On Monday, additional government pleader Anjali Helekar informed the Bombay high court about this. The high court is hearing a public interest litigation filed by an NGO, Forum for Fairness in Education, alleging that these schools charged capitation fee in addition to hefty fees.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice DG Karnik asked the advocate for the petitioner, AL Gore, whether the NGO had made a comparative study of education provided by international and other schools. “Education at international schools may be different,” Karnik said. The court suggested that the higher fee could be for facilities provided and the varied syllabus. “Someone may want to study in air-conditioned classes,” Shah said.
Helekar argued that the schools that had not provided information had not been made respondents in the PIL. The court said it would first go through the government report and then decide whether there was need to add international schools as respondents. The court has asked the government to submit a report by June 28.
The PIL alleges that despite the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Capitation Fee) Act to deal with schools demanding capitation fees, the government doesn’t take any action. The PIL has sought an inquiry into the financial affairs of all international schools in the state.