July 07, 2020

SC declines to interfere with Uttarakhand HC order on school fees

[ by Legal Era News Network ]


The Supreme Court on 6 July declined to interfere with an order of Uttarakhand High Court, which noted students of unaided private schools cannot be compelled to pay fees during the period of nationwide lockdown to contain the outbreak of Covid-19. The schools have moved the Supreme Court challenging this order.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said they are not keen to entertain the matter at this stage and asked counsel representing a large number of schools to challenge the orders issued by the state government.

The appeal challenging the High Court order was filed by the Principals Progressive Schools Association and St. Jude’s, Dehradun.

The High Court had observed that the students, who make use of online course rolled out by the private educational institutions, should be required to pay the tuition fee, if they choose to do so. It also noted that children who do not participate in the online course, should not be asked to pay the tuition fee.

Advocate Zoheb Hussain, representing the schools, argued that schools imparting education through online means should not be restrained from charging fees, and asked the court to take into account the expenses involved in online education. He informed the court that attendance was 100% in online classes, but only 10% students were paying the fees.

The state government order said that private schools, which have rolled out online classes or other communication modes, during the lockdown, will be allowed to charge only the tuition fee. The order also said that a student cannot be removed if he or she does not pay the fee.

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