Uploading balance sheets online: Chandigarh school body to approach SC
The Independent School Association (ISA) has decided to challenge the Punjab and Haryana high court’s May 28 judgment mandating private schools to upload balance sheets online.
Announcing this on Thursday, ISA president HS Mamik said, “We feel that the judgment had many errors and we will approach the Supreme Court next.”
Mamik added that uploading the balance sheets online will violate the privacy of the schools and make it harder for the management to run them.
Meanwhile, the UT education department has taken note of the HC judgment. Director school education Rubinderjit Singh Brar said, “Based on the judgment, we will give the private schools some time to upload their balance sheets online. Action will be taken against those who don’t comply.”
Parents’ body welcomes move
President of the Chandigarh Parents Association Nitin Goyal said, “We had been waiting since 2018 for this to happen. Now schools will be able to show how much money they made during the pandemic and this will help parents, who are demanding fee waivers for the 2021-2022 academic session.”
While most schools are rallying behind the ISA’s stance on the issue, the head of a private school, wishing not to be named, said many schools were transparent with their dealings and wouldn’t mind uploading their balance sheets online.
The Punjab and Haryana high court on May 28 had upheld the Chandigarh administration’s order mandating private unaided schools to upload balance sheets on their websites. The ISA, a body of 78 private schools, and Kabir Education Society, Chandigarh, had moved the high court last year, challenging various provisions of the Punjab Regulation of Fee of Unaided Educational Institutions Act, 2016, as extended to the UT. The law was adopted by the UT in 2018.
The plea was filed after the UT administration had issued show-cause notices to the schools, asking as to why penalties should not be imposed against them for not uploading balance sheets for the last financial year. The schools had also challenged the constitution of the Fee Regulatory Authority, arguing that asking them to upload balance sheets violated their rights.