May 01, 2009

Schools told not to hike fees: MCD

NEW DELHI: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that it had asked the managers of all recognised schools under it not to increase the tuition fees and other charges for school children without prior permission of the Director (Primary Education).
The civic body further informed the Court that it had also asked these schools and the societies running them to provide details of their balance sheets, profit and loss, and receipt and payment accounts.
The MCD provided this information to the Court in reply to a petition by three non-government organisations of the Capital challenging the Delhi Government’s decision to allow the city’s private schools to raise the tuition fees.
Meanwhile, one of the judges of the Division Bench hearing the matter has recused himself from the case saying that there was a conflict of interest as he had earlier represented a private school in the matter when he was a lawyer.
Earlier, another judge of a different Division Bench of the Court had refused to hear the matter.
A different Bench will now take it up for hearing on Thursday.
The petitioners—Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh, Social Jurist and Faith Academy Parents’ Association—through their counsel Ashok Aggarwal submitted that the decision to allow the schools to increase the fees was not based on any rational or legal basis.
The petitioners said that the Government should not have allowed these schools to increase the fees without examining their financial records and going through the parameters laid down by the Supreme Court and the High Court for a fee hike.

They also urged the Court to issue a direction for refund of the increased fee collected from the parents. The Government should also ensure auditing of the accounts of each of these schools by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India in terms of Section 18 (6) of the Delhi Education Act, 1973, the petitioners stated.

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