Delhi Private unaided schools have the right to collect late fees of up to 5 paisa each day

Nitin Varma

Nitin Varma

According to the court, private, unaided institutions are free to set their own tuition rates, as well as additional fees and contributions that must be paid by the student.

Delhi private school

The Delhi High Court ruled that the Delhi School Education Rules’ restrictions prohibiting schools from imposing fines greater than five pence per day for late tuition payments do not apply to private, unaided schools in this country.

On a petition filed by the Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private School, a confederation of more than 500 private unaided schools in Delhi, a panel of justices Vibhu Bakhru and Amit Mahajan issued the ruling.

The petitioner had challenged a decision made by the Directorate of Education (DoE) in February 2013 that stated a private, unaided school in this country could not impose a punishment of more than five pence per day for a student’s late payment of tuition.

The petitioner, who was represented by attorney Kamal Gupta, also requested a directive stating that private unaided recognized schools are exempt from Part B of Chapter XIII of the Rules’ rule 166.

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Setting aside the DoE order, the court noted substantial autonomy is allowed to private unaided schools in areas of fees, which is opposed to the fee set by the aided schools.

Private unaided schools, the court noted, are allowed to determine their cost structure, which includes the tuition fees as well as additional levies and contributions payable by the student.

“From a perusal of the provisions contained in Chapter XIII of the Rules, and keeping in mind the principles of purposive interpretation as discussed above, we have no hesitation to hold that the provisions of Chapter XIII of the Rules are applicable only in relation to aided schools,” said the court in its order dated November 15.

“The order dated 11.02.2013 passed by the DoE is, thus, set aside,” the court said.

The court noted that even though it has concluded that rule 166 is not applicable in relation to private unaided schools, the DoE order has mentioned that a committee has been formed up for evaluation of the provision.

It stated that it anticipated authorities to expedite the process and provide suggestions within a period of 8 weeks.

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