Private schools in the capital on Thursday got relief from the Delhi High Court as it stayed a Delhi government move to impose conditions on fee hike. A division bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Suresh Kait stayed the government's public notice and asked it to file by May 26 a detailed reply to the objections raised by the schools. According to the public notice, the schools will have to seek approval of the parent-teacher associations (PTAs) before deciding on a fee hike. Based on PTAs' recommendations, they would have to approach the Directorate of Education (DoE) to review their case and allow them a hike. The court expressed its displeasure as the government did not respond, despite the court's direction, to a plea by a group of parents and asked it to reply by May 26, the next date of hearing.
Earlier, the court termed the fee hike by private, unaided schools in the capital was 'highly objectionable.' 'This (hike in fees) is highly objectionable. Let there be some examination on the whole aspect,' observed the bench hearing a public interest petition. Appearing for an association of parents, counsel Ashok Aggarwal earlier told the court that the government had gone contrary to the recommendation of the S.L. Bansal Committee, constituted to look into the school fee hike. The Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh, aided by NGO Social Jurist, had challenged the DoE notification on the grounds that it violates the orders of the high court and the Supreme Court that the accounts of each school be examined before they are allowed to hike fee. The schools have been demanding up to 50 % hike in tuition fees in order to give teachers a raise and arrears in accordance with the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. The DoE has created five slabs on the basis of the existing tuition fees in schools, allowing them a maximum fee hike of INR 500.
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