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Karnataka HC says pvt schools can collect fees with 15% deduction for 2020-21

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  • The Karnataka High Court, however, directed school managements that no student can be barred from attending classes over non-payment of fees.

The Karnataka High Court, providing relief to the parents and private school associations, on September 16 directed schools to offer a fixed 15% fee cut under the Karnataka Education Act in lieu of the unutilised facilities during the relevant period of the 2020-21 academic year.

According to a report in The Hindu, Justice R Devdas, while disposing of the petitions of several private unaided schools, said that the school managements are free to offer further concession or come up with a different pattern on concession. The report also noted the court stating that this arrangement will bear no effect on the collection of fees for the current academic year 2021-22.

Several private unaided school associations approached the High Court after the state government issued an order on January 29, 2021, directing the school management to not collect more than 70% of the decided fees. The management, staff and teachers of private unaided schools held a massive protest in Bengaluru to protest against the same after their pleas to cap the fee concession at 15% went unheard.

The New Indian Express reported that the court has ordered the school managements to not debar any student from attending classes — online or physical — due to non-payment of fees, arrears or outstanding fees including instalments. The court further said that the managements should not withhold examination results either.

According to the reports, the school managements have been ordered to ensure they don’t withhold names of any students for Board examination for Classes 10 and 12 on the grounds of non-payment of fees on obtaining an undertaking of the concerned ward or parent(s).

While passing the order, Justice Devdas cited the May 2021 judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of Indian School, Jodhpur vs State of Rajasthan in which the court ruled that the government is not vested with powers to reduce fees, however, directed deduction of 15% fees in view of the unutilized facilities due to COVID-19 pandemic, reported Deccan Herald.

(Source: The News Minute)

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