Private schools on DDA land need government nod for fee hike: HC

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Saying schools “cannot indulge in profiteering and commercialisation” of education, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday made it clear that private unaided schools which are alloted land by the DDA shall not hike fees without prior sanction of the government.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said these schools have to take prior sanction from Delhi government’s education department before hiking fees.

Delhi’s directorate of education (DoE) shall ensure compliance of the terms in letter of allotment regarding increase of fees by recognised private unaided schools on land alloted by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), said the bench.

It also directed the DDA to take appropriate steps in accordance with the law against those private schools which violate the stipulation regarding fee hike in the letter of allotment.

“It is clear that schools cannot indulge in profiteering and commercialisation of school education. Quantum of fees to be charged by unaided schools is subject to regulation by DoE in terms of power conferred under Delhi Schools Education Act of 1973 and it is competent to interfere if hike in fee by a particular school is found to be excessive and perceived as indulging in profiteering,” said the court in its order.

“So far as the unaided schools which are allotted land by DDA are concerned, in the light of the decision of the Supreme Court in Modern School vs. Union of India and others, we are clear in our mind that they are bound to comply with the stipulation in the letter of allotment…

“It (SC order) upholds the binding nature of the stipulation in the letter of allotment issued by the DDA that the school shall not increase the rate of tuition fees without the prior sanction of DoE.”

The court’s order came on a PIL filed by NGO Justice for All through advocate Khagesh Jha seeking direction that no private unaided school in Delhi which has been allotted land by the DDA shall enhance the fee without the prior sanction of the education department.

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