Allahabad HC notices to CBSE, ICSE on fixing of school fees
Lucknow: The Allahabad high court has issued notices to the CBSE and the ICSE to file their response on a PIL seeking to regulate exorbitant fees charged by self-financed private schools. The high court has sought the response from the boards within four weeks.
The matter would come up for hearing after service of notices to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).
A bench of justices Vikram Nath and Abdul Moin passed the order on the PIL filed by Laik Ahmad. The PIL has demanded establishment of a Fee Regularity Commission headed by a retired high court judge to regulate fees to be fixed by private schools. It further sought directions to the two boards to use their powers to control private schools in fixing fees “as they cannot shut their eyes after grating recognition to run a school”.
In view of the delay in passing of a proposed legislation to be tabled in the UP Legislature to control fees charged by private schools, the petitioner had also sought that till the said enactment is passed by the Legislature, the Uttar Pradesh government should be directed to issue some circular or order to control the fees to be charged during the 2018-19 session. Otherwise, private schools would make excuse that they had already fixed fees for the current sessions and hence, it cannot be revisited, Ahmad claimed.
The court’s Lucknow bench also asked the Uttar Pradesh government to place its response. The petitioner’s counsel Sandeep Yadav pleaded that in Gujarat, the government enacted a law in 2017 to regulate the fees and it was affirmed by the Gujarat high court. Similar, a legislation is in the pipeline in UP, but it would take time. In the meanwhile, the new sessions are coming up, he said.
Seeking the HC’s intervention, the petitioner has demanded immediate action by the state government on the issue. It has been stated in the PIL, that private schools are charging exorbitant fees and even do not disclose the fee structure nor do they upload it on website. Pleading that education is fundamental right of a child, the PIL said that the schools cannot be allowed to run for only money making