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Government can regulate fee hike by pvt schools: HC

Today :- Jan – New Delhi: In a landmark verdict, the Delhi high court on Tuesday put an end to what it called “profiteering and commercialization of education” and empowered the state government to regulate fee hike by private schools. A day after it asked the AAP government to “set its house in order” and improve its schools, the court ruled that fee hike by private unaided schools, who got DDA land at concessional rates, requires prior sanction from the Delhi government’s education departments. The order is expected to curb arbitrary fee hike. “It is clear that schools cannot indulge in profiteering and commercialization of school education… Quantum of fees to be charged by unaided schools in subject to regulation by DoE under Delhi Schools Education Act and it is competent to interfere if hike in fee by a particular school is found to be excessive and perceived as indulging in profiteering, “a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath held. The court further ordered DoE to ensure compliance. It also directed DDA to take action against those private schools which violate the embargo on fee hike in the letter of allotment of land. The judgement came on a PIL filed by advocate Khagesh Jha for an NGO, Justice For All, which urged the court to intervene and ensure that recognised private unaided schools situated on land allotted By DDA adhere to specified norms and take prior sanction of DOE before hiking their fees. Action Committee for Unaided Recognised Private Schools, an umbrella body of School associations in Delhi, has decided to “immediately move the Supreme Court” against the HC verdict. “This is contrary to the earlier judgment of the Supreme Court in the TMA Pai case in which complete autonomy was granted to private schools with regard to fee structure. This cannot bypass the SC judgment. We have no alternative but immediately move the matter to the SC,” said SK Bhattacharya, president, Action Committee. RC Jain of Delhi State Public School Management Association pointed out that school fees are decided by school management committees, which include nominees of DoE.

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