The SC has declared that no student should be barred from attending classes, and their results should not be held up due to non-payment of fees
The Supreme Court has directed 36,000 private unaided schools in Rajasthan to charge 15 per cent less annual fees from students for the 2020-21 academic session, and has declared that no student should be barred from attending virtual or physical classes, and their results should not be held up due to non-payment of fees.
A bench comprising justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari issued a 128-page judgement where they stated that the truncated fees for the 2020-21 academic year would be payable in six equal instalments by students or guardians. Justice Khanwilkar noted that the lockdown brought in by the pandemic led to an unprecedented situation which affected the economy and purchasing capacity of everyone, with many people losing their jobs and livelihood. Parents have been under stress to manage even their day-to-day affairs.
The verdict added that schools shall collect the annual school fees from their students as fixed under the Rajasthan Schools Act of 2016 but by providing a deduction of 15 per cent in lieu of unutilised facilities by students. The students can pay the amount in six equal monthly instalments before August 5, but the court is open to schools giving further concession to students.
The SC also asked school managements to consider individual requests made for fee waiver on a case-to-case sympathetic basis. Moreover, schools cannot withhold the name of any student from the ensuing board exams for Classes X and XII for not paying fees. However, this judgement will not affect collection of fees for the 2021-22 academic year.
SC upheld Rajasthan High Court’s rejection of the challenge to validity of the Rajasthan Schools (Regulation of Fee) Act 2016 and the rules framed under the law governing a fixation of school fees by government-mandated procedures.
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