HC dismisses review petition on private schools' fee hike

HC dismisses review petition on private schools' fee hike

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking review of its earlier judgement whereby private unaided schools, allotted land by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), have to take prior government sanction before hiking fees.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, however, clarified that the aggrieved party was not precluded from challenging the action, if any, taken by the Directorate of Education (DoE) for enforcement of the terms of the allotment of land with regard to increase of fees.

The bench said that “the order under review cannot be held to have suffered from any error apparent on the face of the record. Hence, the review petitions are devoid of merit.”
“We make it clear that the review shall not preclude the aggrieved party, including the applicants, to challenge the action, if any, taken by the DoE for enforcement of terms of allotment of land with regard to  an increase of fees by raising all the grounds available under law,” the court said in its 13-page order.

The court, in its verdict passed on January 19 this year, had directed the Delhi government’s DoE to ensure compliance with the terms in the letter of allotment regarding increase of fees by recognised private unaided schools on land alloted by the DDA.

It had asked the DDA to take steps in accordance with the law against those private schools that violate the stipulation regarding fee hike in the the letter of allotment.

“It is clear that schools cannot indulge in profiteering and commercialisation of school education... Quantum of fees to be charged by unaided schools is subject to regulation by the DoE in terms of power conferred under the Delhi Schools Education Act of 1973 and it is competent to interfere if the hike in fee by a particular school is found to be excessive and perceived as indulging in profiteering,” the court had said in its order.

The judgement had come on a PIL filed by NGO Justice for All, which had sought that the recognised private unaided schools on the land alloted by the DDA be directed to abide by the stipulation in letter of allotment to take prior sanction of DoE before hiking the fees.

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