The schools have reputation of producing top rankers

Income Tax officials conducted searches in three schools here on Thursday. Department sources said the searches were done on the basis of complaints that the schools, dubbed ‘super schools’ because of their propensity to produce top rankers every year, collected exorbitant fees for higher secondary classes this year.

The raided schools were Greenpark Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Boothupatti in Namakkal Town, Kurinji Matriculation Higher Secondary School Kavettipatti on the Namakkal-Paramathi Road and SKV Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Kandhampalayam on the Tiruchengode-Paramathi Road in Paramathi-Velur Taluk.

Three teams totally comprising 45 Income Tax officials conducted the raids. They searched for records such as the fees quoted by the schools as against the fee fixed by the State government, receipts given to the parents and soft copies of the records, an Income Tax official told The Hindu.

The teams questioned the directors of the schools, officials of banks in which they had accounts and the school staff.

Long operation

The operation began close to 10 a.m. and continued into the night.

Mobile phones of the top management members of the schools were seized during the raid. The directors of these schools, however, claimed that it was a regular audit conducted by the IT Department.

Greenpark School produced one of the two first rank holders in the State while three other students of the school shared the third rank in the Plus-Two board examinations this year.

Kurinji School produced a third rank. SKV School bagged the first three ranks in the State in the Plus-Two Board Exams last year.

The reputation of producing top rankers made parents flock to these schools.

IT sources said the complaint was that the schools fixed Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs.2 lakh as tuition fees and hostel fees for students of Plus-One. Parents said action could not be initiated against the schools as they did not give any receipt for the exorbitant fees.

The sources said the schools initially collected a very small amount as admission fee and asked the parents to pay the rest on a later date, mostly second or third week of June.

Parents shocked

On Thursday, the parents of some students who were admitted to Plus-One this year were shocked when the school authorities asked them to come on Friday to pay the fees.

They thought that the admissions had been cancelled. Some of the staff then explained that there was a raid and therefore the fees could be paid on Friday, a parent said.