The high court on Friday said no unaided private school could prevent any student from appearing in an examination for failing to pay at least 80 per cent fees as mentioned by the court in an earlier order.
The division bench headed by Justice I.P. Mukerji, which issued the order, also directed schools to issue admit cards for school exams and publish results of the students whose fees have not been paid.
Lawyers appearing for guardians claimed that many schools were not allowing students to write examinations by denying them admit cards for school exams or barring them from attending online classes for failing to pay fees.
During the hearing, counsel for many private schools alleged that even after the court’s repeated orders, many guardians were not paying fees.
Since a special leave petition is pending before the Supreme Court, the division bench headed by Justice Mukerji issued Friday’s order. The order will prevail till the apex court hears the case and issues a directive.
Last year, a division bench headed by Justice Sanjib Banerjee had asked the parents to pay 80 per cent of the school fees. Schools were to waive 20 per cent of tuition fees and not charge fees on heads like “laboratory, craft, sporting facilities or extra-curricular activities or the like” till in-person classes resumed. Many parents allegedly did not pay 80 per cent of the fees.
Justice Banerjee became the Chief Justice of Madras High Court and the division bench headed by Justice Mukerji was given the responsibility to hear the case.
Schools had been closed since March 2020 because of Covid and opened briefly in February this year. They again got go-ahead to start in-person classes from November 16 for Classes IX to XII.
In its order on October 1 this year, following prayer by private schools, the division bench headed by Justice Mukerji modified the earlier order and directed that parents would have to start paying full fees.
Vineet Ruia, on behalf of guardians in private schools, moved the special leave petition (SLP) in the apex court. On Friday, the original case before the high court came up for hearing.
The lawyers appearing for guardians informed the court about the SLP pending before the Supreme Court.
On Friday evening, Ruia said that the Supreme Court is likely to hear the SLP on December 6.