Fee Hike By Schools: HC Gives Govt 3 Weeks for Response

Srinagar—The Jammu and Kashmir high Court asked the state government on Tuesday to file its response “definitely” within three weeks on framing a policy for increasing the school fee by a certain percentage across the board on annual basis depending on some criteria.

 “The state government shall also file affidavit indicating its response to para 2 of our order dated 21 August 2017 wherein a suggestion was noted  that the state government may frame a policy for increasing the school fee by a certain percentage across the board on annual basis depending on certain criteria. The affidavit be filed definitely within three weeks,” said a division bench of the Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while hearing a Public Interest Litigation. The court was also informed that the tenure of chairman of fee fixation committee has been extended by further one year. “The committee shall consider the representation of schools within three weeks and inform the court.”

Previously, the high court directed state government to either reconstitute or extend the term of old fee-fixation committee in the state within two weeks “so that the work will not suffer.”

The court had passed the orders following submissions by senior advocate Sunil Sethi, representing Tyndale-Biscoe & Mallinson School, that state government may frame a policy of increasing the fee by a certain percentage amount across the board on an annual basis dependent on certain criteria such as rate of inflation etc.

Apart from this, he had said, in case any school requires enhancement more than the prescribed rate, then on a case to case basis, the Committee would consider the cases individually.

In 2015, the government appointed Justice (Retd) Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain has as chairman of the fee-fixing panel for schools with a view to regulate the fee structure of private educational institutions in the state.

“It is well settled now, as has been laid down by the Supreme Court of India in a catena of authorities that commercialisation and exploitation is not permissible in the Education Sector,” Justice (retd) Hussain has said in his message soon after assuming the charge.

“Education is treated as a noble occupation on no profit-no-loss basis. Thus, those who establish and are managing the Educational Institutions are not expected to indulge in undue profiteering or commercialise this noble activity,” he said.

The fee panel was actually formed in 2013 after the government appointed retired Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, Justice Bilal Nazki, as its chairman. Nazki resigned later.



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