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Calcutta High Court

West Bengal: School cites govt circular, urges HC not to pass any order on fee hike

September 29, 2020

In a set of petitions by guardians seeking reduction in school fees as only online classes are being held due to the pandemic situation, one of the institutes on Monday submitted before the Calcutta High Court that in view of a state government circular on the issue and a code governing such schools, no directions should be passed as sought by the petitioners.

As per the government circular dated July 20, addressed to the heads of all schools regarding the fees chargeable for the academic session 2020-21 stated that the schools functioning in West Bengal should not increase any fee including tuition fee for the new session. It further said that schools should not charge any fee for services like transport, library, computer lab, sports, extra-curricular activities, not rendered during the lockdown period and that only proportionate charges, against the services rendered to the students, be levied during the period.

The lawyer for the school also cited several judgements on the efficacy of a code governing Anglo-Indian schools in West Bengal. The lawyer for Loreto School, Elliot Road, submitted that in view of such government instructions and the mechanism under the relevant code, no directions as prayed for in the petition should be passed.

Several other schools, however, submitted before the division bench comprising justices Sanjib Banerjee and Moushumi Bhattacharya that more broad-based consensus that has emerged in course of the previous hearings should be put in place by the court.

Hearing a bunch of petitions by parents of students of 145 institutes of the state, the court said on September 14 that it will be open to each of the Church of North India (CNI) schools forming a committee to suggest whether any concession can be granted across the board.

If the CNI schools are agreeable to such a mechanism, the accounts of such schools need not be presented before an expert committee set up by the court, but the parent-teacher committee of an individual school may suggest the extent of concession and the same may be accepted by the court, the division bench had said.

The bench on Monday directed that copies of the state government circular be mailed to all parties in the matter who have submitted their email IDs to the court. The court adjourned the hearing in the matter till September 30.

Source: PTI

Read: Kolkata: Parents asked to pay 80% of pending fee within a week

Also read: Decide yourself, says Gujarat HC to government on school fee reduction issue

Also read: Bangalore: Parents allege school fee hike, private schools deny charge

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