January 17, 2023
PRAYAGRA – The Allahabad High Court on Monday directed private schools in Uttar Pradesh to adjust or pay back the excess 15 per cent fees charged from students during Covid-19 pandemic period of academic 2020-21 session.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice J J Munir ordered this while hearing a batch of petitions filed by aggrieved parents from all over the state, seeking regulation of fees in all government and private schools in Uttar Pradesh.
The petitioners claimed that facilities were not provided during Covid-19 pandemic to the students and hence they are not liable to pay for that. The petitioners argued that fees are a matter of quid pro quo and during the 2020-21 session, no services, except online tuition, were provided in private schools.
Hence, it was submitted that charging even a single rupee over and above the tuition fee by private schools was nothing but profiteering and commercialization of education.
The court has ordered that if any excess had been paid, the same would have to be adjusted in the fee to be paid in future.
Taking the note of the Apex Court’s judgment and referring to the directions issued therein, the High Court, in its order, directed the private school that in case any fee has been paid in excess of what has been determined by the Supreme Court and, in the case of the students still studying, the same may be adjusted in the fee to be paid in future.
In the case of students who have passed out or left the school, the High Court has ordered that the amount may be calculated and returned to those students. As per the court’s order, this exercise has to be done within two months.
As per the order of the High Court, all the schools will have to calculate 15 per cent of the total fees charged during 2020-21 and adjust the same in the next academic session.
As far as the students who have left the schools are concerned, 15 per cent of the said fees will have to be refunded to them.