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Gurgaon: Shiv Nadar parents to approach child body if fee issue not resolved

Parents have alleged that the school strike off names of their wards if they don’t pay hiked fees. School authorities have denied the claim

gurgaon Updated: Feb 03, 2018 23:36 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times
Gurgaon,Gurugram news,Shiv Nadar School
Parents in Gurgaon have been up in arms over alleged arbitrary fee hike by schools. (Parveen Kumar/HT FILE)

On the issue of fee hike by Shiv Nadar school, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the school to keep two nursery seats vacant for the wards of petitioners who have alleged that the school is charging exorbitant fees and have directed that till then the school shall not take any coercive steps against the students whose parents have moved court.

The court passed the order on January 19, a copy of which reached the petitioners a few days ago. The matter is listed for hearing on February 8.

The parents had alleged that the school denied admission to siblings of two parents who were among those protesting against the arbitrary fee hike. The parents said they will take up the matter with the Child Welfare Committee for protection of child rights and pursue the matter in the high court as well.

A group of parents of Shiv Nadar School alleged that they were asked to pay the fee of their wards by January 15 or else their names will be struck off. Around 100 parents have not paid the fee since April 2017, said parents who are protesting against the fee hike by the school for the past two years.

The parents’ body alleged that the Fee and Funds Regulatory Committee (FFRC) did not carry out thorough audit or scrutiny of the school’s books of accounts for last two financial years in true spirit of Section 158-A of Haryana School education rules, 2014 to detect siphoning off funds.

Petitioner Atul Gulati, whose children study in classes 10 and 6 said, “FFRC just performed a clerical job over a period of four months (May 2017 – Sept 2017), by matching figures mentioned in Form VI with the provisional balance sheet provided by the school, which was absolutely illegal and not tenable in the eyes of law. To our utter shock, the chartered accountant appointed by FFRC gave a clean chit to the school even after the parents highlighted glaring lapses in the financials (provisional balance sheet) submitted to the FFRC and the auditors.”

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Gulati has petitioned in the high court on behalf of about 50 affected parents.

Puneeta Tandon, parent of a student, said that the additional chief secretary (education) directed the school to provide copy of appeal along with balance sheets for the last two financial years.

“To the utter shock and dismay of protesting parents, school sent an email on January 3 to parents, giving a direct and open threat to strike off children’s names if complete fees is not paid by January 15, 2018, basis having obtained an ex-party order issued by the ACS on December 29, 2017. The alleged ex- party order dated December 29, 2017, passed by the ACS has quashed and overturned the DC’s order, dated September 7, 2017 that the fee charged by the school is absolutely illegal. Given the current circumstances and the impugned order of December 29, it now becomes imperative for us to file an appeal against this order before the high court ,” Jitesh Sahgal, parent of another student, said.

Col (retd) Gopal Karunakaran, CEO, Shiv Nadar School said, “A minuscule section of parents, less than 2%, (28 parents of 39 students out of around 1,500 students at our school) have been protesting the fee hike for the session 2017-18. They have not paid the fee since April 2017. Since the case was sub-judice, we had not insisted on these parents paying the dues. Following the Appellate authority’s order, the school has asked the parents, who have not paid the outstanding fee, to deposit the amount due.”

“The communication was sent out to the parents on January 18, a day before the latest court order was issued on January 19. Thereafter, the school has not sent any communication to the protesting parents on paying the outstanding fee. We are also seeking legal advice in the matter,” Karunakaran said.

Sahgal, however, contended that the school also sent him a mail on January 22 for clearing dues or the school would strike off his ward’s name.

First Published: Feb 03, 2018 23:36 IST