The Gujarat High Court on Friday rejected the state government’s plea seeking a direction to schools to cut their fees in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The government can decide on its own in this matter as it has enough powers in the present situation, said a bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J B Pardiwala. Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama later said the next step will be announced after discussing the matter with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy CM Nitin Patel.
Disposing of the application seeking court’s intervention, the High Court said the government can take an “independent decision” under the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act. In August, the same bench had quashed a government order which prohibited private schools from collecting tuition fees until they reopened. Such a fiat will force smaller schools to shut down, the court had observed.
The High Court also asked the government to sit with the representatives of schools and find an amicable solution. But the government approached the High Court earlier this month, saying no solution was found as the school association was not ready to cut tuition fee by 25 per cent as proposed by the government, so the court should issue necessary directions.
The Gujarat Government has earlier directed the self-financed schools in the state not to collect tuition fees from students as long as they remain shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also asked these schools not to increase fees for the academic year 2020-21.
Source: PTINews, States