Providing relief to private schools, the Delhi High Court has ruled that private unaided schools set up on government land can hike fees without the permission of the Department of Education (DoE).
Justice C. Hari Shankar also ruled that the DoE can only intervene if it finds that in the light of the existing financial position of the school, the proposed increase in fee would result in profiteering, and, thereby, in commercialisation of education, and not otherwise.
The court was hearing a plea filed by Ramjas School, RK Puram, challenging a July 2017 DoE order rejecting its proposal to increase the fees for the academic year 2016-17.
The DoE had said at the time that the surplus available with the school was sufficient to meet its expenses and it didn’t need to increase the fees.
It had then asked Ramjas School to refund or adjust the hiked fee in case parents had already been charged.
The court said the DoE had exceeded its jurisdiction, which is limited to ensuring education is not commercialised. The 2017 order, it added, did not conclude the school had indulged in commercialising education.
The judge also said the DoE had been less than fair to the petitioner, and… compelled the petitioner to undergo a needless litigative exercise.