Private unaided schools in Mumbai may now hike their fees.
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that it would withdraw the March 4 resolution that had said private schools could not hike their fees above 2008-09 levels without the approval of their respective Parent-Teacher Associations and the deputy director of education.
The court has given the government till July 15 to decide on the Bansal Committee report. Hence, any fee hikes introduced by schools before July 15 would be subject to the final government decision.
The next court hearing will be on July 20.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the Unaided Schools’ Forum challenging the March 4 government resolution (GR). The judges had summoned principal secretary Sanjay Kumar, who gave the undertaking to withdraw the March GR.
“Either you take decision or we will pass the order… It only appears that you do not want to stand by the students. We want to know what is the government’s stand,” said Justice Patel.
Arguing for the Forum, senior counsel Aspi Chinoy said the March GR violated a 2009 high court order that had asked the government to decide on the Bansal committee report within four weeks. “Without taking any decision on the Bansal committee report or giving a hearing to private schools, the government issued the March resolution,” he said.
Arguing for parents opposed to the hike in fees, Anil Anturkar said children between six and 14 years are entitled to free education under the Right to Education Act that came into force on April 1.
“Will schools give us an undertaking that they will refund the fees based on what the government decides later?” asked Arundhati Chavan, president of the Parent Teacher Association United Forum.