The Odisha government had earlier asked all private schools to follow the MoU arrived at between private institutions agreeing to waive off fees in a graded manner due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will not be applicable to schools affiliated with Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) in the state, the Supreme Court stated.
A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheswari and Justice Krishna Murari said, “As the Association of Odisha ICSE Schools is not party to the MoU and as per the observations of the Orissa High Court made in the judgment on January 7, 2021, the directive of fee waiver is not applicable to the members of the association imparting ICSE courses.”
On September 10, 2020, the MoU was arrived at between 14 private educational institutions, with the mediation of the State, agreeing to waiver of fees in a graded manner. On January 7, the High Court had given the green signal to the State government on the MoU.
On January 19, the state government issued a notification requesting all private institutions to comply with the High Court judgment and implement the MoU.
The Association of Odisha ICSE Schools challenged it at the top court in a Special Leave Petition (SLP). The bench said disposing of the SLP, “It will be open to the state to interact with the association if at all it intends to issue any direction against the schools registered with ICSE board and if any common arrangement is to be arrived at, appropriate notification or circular can be issued by the State government in accordance with law.”
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