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Calcutta HC Seeks Response Of State On Demand Of Fee By Unaided Educational Institutions During Lockdown

Mehal Jain
14 Jun 2020 4:52 AM GMT
Calcutta HC Seeks Response Of State On Demand Of Fee By Unaided Educational Institutions During Lockdown
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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday sought the response of the state government on the issue of demand of fees by unaided educational institutions during the lockdown period.

The Chief Justice-led bench was hearing the plea that the unaided schools should not be permitted to collect fees during the lockdown period. Alternatively, it was also pointed out that there cannot be any upward revision of fees as of now.
"We are sure that this is a matter which is apparently gaining the attention of the government which has a say in the matter having regard to matters falling within its umbrella of executive administration and control over educational institutions by the State laws", observed the Division Bench.
The Court adjourned the matter to June 25 for the Advocate General to obtain the response of the Government and place it on board.
On May 12, the Uttarkhand High Court had passed an order to stop private schools, which were not conducting online classes, from demanding tuition fee during the lockdown period. Challenging this direction, the schools had approached the SC, and the apex court issued notices on the SLPs .
The High Court of Kerala last week passed an interim order restraining a school from levying additional fees on students for holding virtual classes.

A single bench of Justice C S Dias also referred the writ petition to a division bench, in view of the "substantial public interest involved".

The bench also made reference to the suicide of 14-year old Devika, which was allegedly due to her inability to join online classes as she did not she did not have a smart phone and a working television set in house. The Court noted that tight to education is sacrosanct in the Constitution of India and is the mandate under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

While making the reference, the Court also noted that several states have ordered that students should not be denied education for want of payment of fees during this pandemic period.

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