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Private schools on government land must take permission before hiking fee: DoE

The move comes after Delhi High Court’s March 15 ruling that quashed the DoE’s order barring these 325 schools from unilaterally hiking fees.

delhi Updated: Mar 29, 2019 02:49 IST
Fareeha Iftikhar
Fareeha Iftikhar
New Delhi
private schools,government land,fee
Private schools on government land must take permission before hiking fee: DoE(Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

The Directorate of Education (DoE) on Thursday ordered all private unaided schools built on public land in Delhi to get prior sanction from the government before increasing their fee.

The move comes after Delhi High Court’s March 15 ruling that quashed the DoE’s order barring these 325 schools from unilaterally hiking fees.

The court’s decision came on a plea by the action committee of unaided recognised private schools challenging the DoE order on April 13, 2018, whereby it had directed that any private, unaided, recognised school running on land allotted by any government agency, could not increase their fees
without the prior permission of the DoE.

Days after the court’s ruling several private schools built on the government land had started asking parents to pay “arrears” in order to implement the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations.

The DoE on Thursday cited the Delhi High Court’s January 19, 2016, judgment that asked it to ensure the compliance of the terms mentioned in the land lease of private schools built on the government land. Taking prior sanction from the DoE before raising fee is mentioned in the land lease of these schools.

“All the head of schools/managers of private recognized unaided schools, allotted land by the land owning agencies on the condition of seeking prior sanction of the DoE for increase in fee, are directed to submit their proposals, if any, for prior sanction of the DoE for increase in tuition fee/fee for the academic session 2018-19 and 2019-20,” read the DoE order dated March 27, 2019, and undersigned by deputy director of education Yogesh Pratap.

The schools are asked to submit their proposal online through the DoE website between March 30 and April 30. The schools are also directed to submit complete set of documents and financial records in their proposal. “The proposals submitted by the schools shall be scrutinized by the DoE through any officer or teams authorized in this behalf. In case, no proposal is submitted by the school in terms of this order, the school shall not increase the tuition fee,” the DoE order stated.

The schools were warned not to increase any fee before completing the above mentioned procedure. “Any complaint regarding increase of any fee without such prior approval will be viewed seriously and will make the school liable for action as per the statutory provisions,” the order added.

Advocate Kamal Gupta, who represented the action committee of unaided recognised private schools in the court challenging the DoE’s April 13, 2018, termed the move “contempt of court”. “According to the high court’s March 15 judgment, the schools can start charging increased fee from academic session 2019-20. We are looking after the legal provisions to challenge this DoE order,” he said.

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 02:49 IST