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Judiciary

Restraint on private schools on govt land hiking fees without govt approval, stayed by Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

By Shreya Agarwal      01 May, 2024 07:28 PM      0 Comments
Restraint on private schools on govt land hiking fees without govt approval stayed by Delhi HC

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has stayed the Delhi government’s decision which restrained private schools located on government-allotted land from raising their fees without the government’s prior approval.

It has also issued notices to the Department of Education (DoE) in the matter and sought its response, if any, in a counter affidavit within 4 weeks.

“Till the next date of hearing, the operation of the impugned circular dated 27 March 2024 issued by the DoE shall stand stayed,” a bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar of the Delhi High Court directed.

The Court was hearing a plea by the Action Committee Unaided Recognised Schools, a body of private schools.

The plea challenges a March 27 circular issued by the DoE restraining private schools located on land allotted by the government from hiking their fees without approval.

The Court noted that the DoE has been regularly threatening unaided private schools with action despite a prior verdict of the High Court itself.

It said in this regard, “The DoE, howsoever, dissatisfied it may be with the judgment of this Court in Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools has to respect it, so long as it stands. The attitude of the DoE in continuously issuing Circulars threatening recognized unaided schools with action in the event of their increasing their fees without obtaining prior approval of the DoE is objectionable, and cannot be allowed.”

It highlighted that the said verdict has neither been stayed nor set aside, therefore the DoE has to respect the same till the same stands.

Justice Shankar added that with the law on the matter being clear - that no prior approval is required for a private unaided school to increase its fees even if situated on land allotted by the government - schools cannot be driven to litigation in this manner.

Cause Title: Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools v. Directorate of Education

[Read Judgment]



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