Excess School Fee Refund: Parents’ Assn Prays For Attachment of Schools’ Bank Accounts, Delhi HC Issues Notices

Excess School Fee Refund: Parents’ Assn Prays For Attachment of Schools’ Bank Accounts, Delhi HC Issues Notices

The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Delhi government and various schools in the city calling for their response to a petition praying for the attachment of bank accounts of those unaided private schools which have failed to refund the excess fee charged from students despite the recommendations.

Justice Siddharth Mridul issued notice on the petition moved by Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh through advocate Ashok Agarwal who contended that the only way to make the erring schools cough up excess fee is to attach their bank accounts.

The petitioner had way back in 2009 challenged the Delhi government order allowing unaided private schools to hike their tuition fee, development fee and also recover arrears from students on the pretext of Sixth Pay Commission.

The court had in 2011 appointed Justice Anil Dev Committee for review of school fee to see if the hike was justified.

This committee had submitted interim reports to the court wherein it has identified 575 schools which needed to refund excess fee with 9 percent interest. The estimated excess amount is to the tune of Rs 750 crore and remains unpaid.

Agarwal said not only schools, but the Delhi government also continues to sit on the issue by passing orders, the last was on May 16 when it asked schools to refund the fee in seven days. Despite the seven-day period getting over, the schools have not refunded the amount.

He said the conduct of the parties makes it clear that the schools do not have any intention to refund the excess fee and the Delhi government is also not acting against these schools.

He said some 118 schools have come to the court challenging the findings of the committee and have deposited some amount with the court which should be released to the parents and the remaining 457 schools should have their bank accounts attached, which is the only way to effect a recovery of the excess fee.