HC summons CAG report on fee hike irregularities
The Delhi high court on Monday summoned the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report of December 2010 which had found irregularities with the way 25 elite schools in the Capital had hiked fees.
The bench of justice AK Sikri and justice Siddharth Mridul is hearing petitions filed by parents' bodies challenging the fee hike and by schools who sought further hike beyond the 25% hike permitted by the February 2009 notification of the government.
"Let the CAG report be placed on record," the bench told lawyer Gaurang Kanth representing the CAG. The direction is unusual as the court had heard all sides and reserved its judgment seven months ago.
Schools had demanded a fee hike to enable them bear the additional burden created by the upward revision of pay scales of teachers and other staff as recommended by the sixth pay commission. The court also called for details of exercise carried out by the grievance committee formed by the government to receive complaints from schools and parents regarding the fee hike.
The CAG report of December 2009 was brought to the attention of the court by lawyer Ashok Aggarwal of Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh, representing the parents.
The CAG report said 25 schools passed on the additional burden of pay hike to parents, without drawing on the free cash reserves they had accumulated in the past.
The directorate of education has directed all private schools to implement the sixth pay commission recommendations in 2008-09. Schools were asked to first utilise their existing reserves to pay salaries and to meet the deficit if any, through hike in tuition fee. "Out of 25 schools over 13 in an unauthorised way, had collected R13.08 crore and placed avoidable burden on the parents," the report said.
The money collected from parents on the ground of the pay commission's burden was transferred to their societies and trusts. Schools which claimed to be making losses didn't hesitate to acquire expensive cars, the report said.