The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismisses a public interest litigation seeking a direction on all the schools and colleges in the state to completely waive off fees, including tution fees.
The Petitioner, Ashutosh Kumar Pandey had submitted before the court that the period of closure of schools and colleges during the Covid crisis should be treated as a "holiday" and the institutions should be restrained from demanding fees for such period.
Discarding this argument at the "outset", the bench comprised by Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh observed,
"Most of the schools and colleges are taking up on-line classes for the students and teachers are taking either live classes or sending videos to the students. Even students are being given homework and the same is being checked by the teachers."
In these circumstances, the court said, the submission of the petitioner that the schools are observing holidays during Covid-19 epidemic is absolutely false/ wrong.
Terming the petition to be a "misconceived" one, the bench observed that the Petitioner did not have the locus to approach the court.
"The petitioner herein has no locus to raise the issue, that too, in the nature of mandamus commanding the respondents i.e. the State Government to issue a Government Order in this respect," the court said and dismissed the PIL.
Recently, the Delhi High Court had also held that the charging of tuition fee is justified as schools are organising online classes, providing study materials, and paying staff salaries.
Inter alia, another petition relating to payment of school fees is pending before the Lucknow Bench of the High Court. In the said case, the Petitioners have prayed that all private schools in the State be directed to charge only tuition fee and desist from levying other ancillary charges, until the lockdown prevails.
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