School students should not suffer due to pending litigation over fees hike: Calcutta HC

The Calcutta High Court further directed that no student should be expelled for non-payment of fees and that admit cards, results should not be withheld.

School students should not suffer due to pending litigation over fees hike: Calcutta HC Calcutta HC on fee hike in West Bengal
Press Trust of India | Dec 4, 2021 - 9:02 a.m. IST
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KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Friday observed that students of schools involved in litigation before it over fees amid the COVID-19 crisis should not be made to suffer in any way, and online classes be provided to them.

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A division bench comprising justices I P Mukerji and Moushumi Bhattacharya further directed that no student should be expelled for non-payment of fees and that admit cards and results should not be withheld on such grounds. "We only observe that by our earlier orders, which are still continuing, we had directed that pending resolution of the various contentions raised before us, the students should not suffer and that online classes be continued to be provided to them," the bench said.

The bench said that it reiterated its order that is subject to any verdict that may be passed by the Supreme Court, before which an appeal is pending on the high court's earlier directions of October 1. The division bench said that it is "disturbed" to read a supplementary affidavit affirmed by Adamas International School that first information reports (FIR) are being generated by the police and action threatened on complaints made concerning non-payment of school fees and expulsion of students.

"We observe and direct that when complaints are received by any authority touching the subject matter of this litigation, any contemplated action should and can only be taken with the leave of this court," the bench said. The court adjourned the matter till December 17 for further hearing.

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Parents of students of a school in Purba Medinipur district have moved the high court seeking application of the October 2020 order for them. The high court had on October 13, 2020 directed that there would be no increase in the school fees during the financial year 2020-21 and that "from the month beginning April, 2020 till the month following the one in which the schools reopen in the physical mode" all the 145 schools which were involved in that litigation would "offer a minimum 20 percent reduction of the fees across the board".

It had been further ordered that "non-essential charges for use of facilities not availed of would not be permissible".


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