The AAP government has told the Delhi High Court that it is facing severe staff crunch, which it cited as an impediment in conducting inspections of schools and failing to produce relevant records before the Justice Anil Dev committee constituted to determine excess fee charged by private unaided recognised schools.
The DoE said out of 249 schools (174 only inspection cases and 75 inspection and refund cases), 113 have been inspected. In these 113 schools, action for taking over has been proposed in 27 cases. In 75 cases, re-inspection will be carried out.
The DoE said it has initiated action against schools that failed to comply with the recommendations of the committee.
For 15 schools, it said, they seem to have refunded the excess fee of Rs. 14.5 crore charged from parents. The high court has now asked advocate Ashok Agarwal, the petitioners’ counsel, to verify the same from the parents.
“In the cases of inspections, the DoE has conducted inspections with available resources and mechanism and further endeavour to expedite the inspection work and arrive at a decision for taking further action. The department is facing severe staff crunch. Even the request for additional staff, including retired people, has not been fully addressed,” the affidavit said.
“However, in short term, the department is enhancing its capacity by deployment of chartered accountants and in the long term by creation of posts of accounts functionaries at every level of its administrative structure,” it added.
The affidavit has been filed in a case initiated by Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh under advocate and social activist Ashok Agarwal against fee hike and charging of excess fee by schools in Delhi.
Justice Anil Dev Committee was constituted by the high court in 2011 to determine the need for fee hike and for examining the records and accounts or private unaided recognised schools.
The committee, in its interim report and monthly reports of June to October, 2016, recommended for refund of excess fee charged from the parents at 9 per cent interest per annum in respect of 544 private unaided recognised schools of Delhi out of 1,108 schools.
It also ordered special inspection of 249 schools for non-production of relevant records.
To this, the DoE said it was doing its best, but for the shortage of manpower.