August 8, 2009 3:39:49 am
In a decision that brought relief to thousands of parents,the Supreme Court on Friday held that private unaided schools do not have the right to hike fees.
Deciding on the review petitions filed by the Action Committee for Unaided Private Schools in the Capital,which sought a re-examination of its earlier 2004 verdict,the three-member Bench led by Justice S B Sinha said only the government can regulate the fees of private schools.
Unaided private schools need to take permission of the Director Education before hiking fees,the apex court maintained.
In its previous ruling of 2004,the SC has upheld the authority of the Director Education to have a final say in fee hikes being implemented by schools.
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It also upheld the decision of the Director Education to freeze the fee structure and stop the transfer of funds from schools to the parent society.
The Action Committee for Unaided Private Schools,however,had moved a review petition seeking reconsideration of the 2004 verdict and had argued that teachers needed to be paid higher salaries under the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.
The review petition,moved through advocate Romy Chacko,had also suggested that the 2004 judgment was contrary to provisions of the Delhi School Education Act.
Today,however,the bench,which also comprised S H Kapadia and Cyriac Joseph,allowed the transfer of surplus funds from a school to another,provided they are under the same management.
The judgment assumes significance as private unaided schools here had challenged an order passed by the Director of School Education,regulating the fee structure in the schools.
The apex court said the rules governing the fee structure in schools should be in conformity with its earlier Constitution bench judgements in the T M A Pai and P A Inamdar cases,where it was held that private unaided educational institutions have the power to fix their own fee structure,provided no capitation fees are charged.
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