Govt. seeks HC nod to set up panel to resolve school fee row

High Court of Karnataka.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The State government has sought permission from the High Court of Karnataka to set up a committee, headed by a retired judge of the High Court, to look into the issue of fixation of fee for all types of private schools in the State for the academic year 2021-22.

The State government filed an application in this regard on the petitions filed by a large number of associations of private unaided schools challenging the Government Order of January 29, 2021, asking all private unaided schools, including those affiliated to ICSE and CBSE, to collect only 70% of the tuition fee, collected in 2019-20, for the academic year 2020-21 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, before whom the petitions filed by the schools came up for hearing on Monday, adjourned further hearing granting time to the petitioners to file their objections to the government’s proposal.

Without prejudice to the rights of the parties in the petitions, pending adjudication, it is being proposed to constitute a high-powered committee, chaired by a retired judge of the High Court, to make recommendations after eliciting views of parents, school managements and other stakeholders to resolve free crisis, which has created a deadlock in the matter, the government said in its application.

The proposal to set up the committee was made citing the apex court’s judgment in the TMA Pai Foundation case, in which the Supreme Court had ordered for setting up of a committee to fix fee for unaided and minority professional colleges to ensure that the institutes do not charge fee resulting in either profiteering or charging of capitation fee.

The court in March this year had directed the government not to take coercive action against ICSE and CBSE schools for not following direction to collect only 70% of the tuition fee as their petitions on applicability of certain provisions of State’ Education Act to them is pending adjudication.

Also, the court had asked the managements of CBSE and ICSE schools to voluntarily notify parents that they would consider the grievances of individual parents on payment of the full fee for the 2020-21 academic year.

Further hearing has been adjourned till June 29.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 10:58:23 PM |

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