New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has said provisions of the Delhi School Education Rules which state a school cannot charge a fine in excess of five paise a day for late payment of fees, does not apply to private unaided schools here. A bench of justices Vibhu Bakhru and Amit Mahajan issued the ruling on a petition filed by the Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private School, a confederation of more than 500 private unaided schools in Delhi.
The petitioner had challenged a decision made by the Directorate of Education (DoE) in February 2013 that stated a private, unaided school in this country could not impose a fine greater than five paisa per day for a student’s late payment of tuition.
The petitioner, who was represented by attorney Kamal Gupta, also requested a directive stating that private unaided recognized schools are exempt from Part B of Chapter XIII of the Rules’ rule 166. Setting aside the DoE order, the court stated that private unaided schools receive a significant amount of autonomy in fee matters, in contrast to the fee levied by the aided schools.
According to the court, private, unaided schools are free to set their own tuition rates, as well as other fees and contributions that must be paid by the student.
“From perusal of the provisions contained in Chapter XIII of the Rules, and keeping in mind the principles of purposive interpretation as discussed above, we have no hesitation to hold that the provisions of Chapter XIII of the Rules are applicable only in relation to aided schools,” said the court in its order dated November 15, as per PTI.
“The order dated 11.02.2013 passed by the DoE is, accordingly, set aside,” the court said.
Even though it had ruled that Rule 166 did not apply to private, unaided schools, the court claimed that the DoE order had mentioned that a committee had been formed to review the provision.
It also stated that it anticipated authorities to speed up the procedure and present their recommendations in less than eight weeks.