Delhi High Court refuses to stay order permitting private unaided schools to collect fees

Deepali Kalia

Delhi High Court on June 7th refused to stay a single judge order which had quashed the Delhi government’s order that had forbidden the private unaided schools from collecting Annual charges and development fees from students till physical reopening of the schools.

A vacation bench of Justices Rekha Palli and Amit Bansal had issued a notice in the appeal preferred by Delhi government and other private parties against order of a single judge.

In the order rendered by Justice Jayant Nath, it was held that since private unaided schools were dependent only on the fees collected by them, any order which restricted them to collect normal and usual fees would create, “Create grave financial prejudice and harm to the schools”.

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh representing the Delhi government argued that the single-judge had gravely erred by reaching the judgment on the basis of the Supreme court order on collection of school fees.

It was pointed by Singh that the single judge had overlooked the fact that the order by the top court was with regard to the State of Rajasthan and imposition of tuition fee was for the duration when the schools were physically reopened there.

The single judge failed to acknowledge the powers of the Department of Education in passing such an order, contended the counsel representing the Delhi government.

Singh prayed upon the court to transfer the matter back to the single judge for reconsideration.

The counsel representing the private schools on the other hand argued that the ruling by single judge was correct in that there could be no interference by the Delhi government as there was no allegation of profiteering in the case.

After hearing both the parties the court refused to pass an interim order of stay and stated that it was not inclined to do so as of now.

A statement on record was taken by the court from the private schools that till the next date of hearing, they would continue to operate by the existing principles in the matter regarding fees collection from the students.

The matter has been listed for further hearing on July 12th.

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