School fee hike: HC directs parents to deposit pending dues in 2 months
The main grouse of the counsel for the petitioners is that the state is not taking any stand in decision to the petitions but in many cases, the functionaries of the state are forcing the petitioner schools to refund the payment.punjab Updated: Sep 09, 2017 16:43 IST
In a major setback to parents protesting against fee hike in schools, the Punjab and Haryana high court has asked parents to deposit all pending dues within two months of the issuance of orders and further refrained them disrupting the functioning of schools in any manner. This comes in the wake of repeated incidents of violence by protesting parents in Ludhiana schools over the past few months.
Hearing a petition filed by Bal Bharti Public School and others against the state of Punjab over the fee committee recommendations which asked schools to refund excess payments, the court stated, “All the students will start paying the due fees for the academic session within a period of two months from the date of order. This payment would be subject to any right of recovery which they may have pursuant to the decision of this petition. The parents are further injuncted from disrupting the functioning of the schools in any manner,” said the court.
Earlier, the fee committee formed by the state government had directed schools to regulate fees and said that students should be allowed to set off the previous excess payments which they have made against payments now due. The private schools had then moved the high court against the recommendations of the fee committee to refund the fee.
In the order passed on August 29, the court directed all the petitioner schools to give an undertaking to the effect that they would be liable to refund the excess money which they have collected and would have no objection if the property of the institute has to be sold for that purpose in case the petition is dismissed. These undertakings be filed in this court with a copy to the advocate general office on the receipt of the undertakings.
During the course of arguments, counsel of petitioners (schools), said that as per the orders of the fee committee, the students have stopped paying the fees which has made it almost impossible to run these schools and in many cases, they are disrupting the functioning of the schools. The state of Punjab is also made a party in the case. However, the assistant advocate general, Punjab, did not file any reply and prayed for a short date in the matter to get clear instructions.
The main grouse of the counsel for the petitioners is that the state is not taking any stand in decision to the petitions but in many cases, the functionaries of the state are forcing the petitioner schools to refund the payment. The case will now come up for hearing on September 27.
Past incidents: Fee related issues that hogged all limelight
March 27: High drama was witnessed at Bal Bharati Public School, Dugri, when school authorities refused to show wards’ results to some parents. Class teachers asked the parents that they should clear previous month’s dues to see the report cards.
March 28: Parents of students studying in 10 private schools reached district education office (secondary) with their complaints related to results being withheld by schools and few students not being promoted to the next class. They also complained against schools recommending selected book shops to buy textbooks
March 15: BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32, refused to declare results of kindergarten students. Parents protested against school management for allegedly withholding results of LKG and UKG students.
March 31: Parents stormed the principal’s office at BCM Senior Secondary School after the school authorities refused to show wards’ results to some, asking them to clear their dues. Both sides entered into a heated argument, blaming each other, when parents accused the principal and staff members of misbehaving with them.
April 7: Receiving no response from the district administration regarding fee hike by private schools, parents of students from different schools protested for more than two hours outside MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu’s house.
April 8: Parents’ association staged a protest outside MLA Surinder Dawar’s house and submitted memorandum to him, demanding rollback of charges other than tuition fee.