Wednesday, February 12, 2014

High Court reserves order on petition against school fees

High Court reserves order on petition against school fees


The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a plea opposing the decision of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to charge fees in the form of Vidyalaya Vikas Nidhi (VVN) from its students. The plea was filed by NGO Social Jurist.
Arguing that such charges violated the Right to Education Act as they charges were levied for building maintenance, payment of temporary contract teachers and other expenses, advocate Ashok Aggarwal had said KVS should not be allowed to collect funds in that manner.
The lawyer told the court of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Manmohan that as per the provisions of RTE Act, "all education between class I to class VIII should be totally free...".
The lawyer alleged that the "miscellaneous funds" were being used by KVS for expenses such as security of the school and "incidental expenses connected with visits to the school by dignitaries".
"How can the students be charged for such expenses?" argued Aggarwal, adding that the Supreme Court had in numerous judgments held that the right to education implied "no costs and no barriers," and had barred charging of any fee.
The court however questioned the stand taken by the advocate regarding charging of "nominal charges".
"Education sector will not survive if you insist that nothing should be charged. State has to get some money from somewhere," the court said.
The court also pulled up the lawyer for making statements that the RTE provisions extended to private as well as government schools. The provision that the advocate was referring to stated that the government was obliged to reimburse the fee for all students and not just the EWS students.
"How do you expect the government to reimburse the fee for students of Delhi Public School or Modern School?" the court asked.

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