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41 private schools should refund excess fees: HC panel

41 private schools should refund excess fees

New Delhi, September 29: A panel set up by the Delhi High Court has recommended that 41 private schools should refund the excess fees they charged in 2009 but did not pay salaries to their staff as per the Sixth Pay Commission's recommendations. A three-member committee headed by Rajasthan High Court's former chief justice Anil Dev Singh, set up in 2011, examined the financial records of 81 schools randomly out of a total 1,172 schools and submitted its sixth interim report to the court.

With this report, the committee has so far examined the financial records of 836 private schools in the city. The report was submitted before a division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sidharth Mridul. The report indicted 41 out of 81 unaided private schools for "unjustly" increasing fees and recommended that all of them refund the same with 9 percent interest to the parents.

The committee also found that out of 81 schools, 14 schools' records were "unreliable" and the committee recommended a "special inspection" in addition to the fee refund. After the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, the schools increased the fees citing additional financial burden due to increased salaries of teachers.

In August 2011, the court gave directions for setting up a three-member committee to audit the accounts of each of the schools to ascertain if the fee hike by them was required. This order came on a petition filed by an NGO Social Jurists, through advocate Ashok Agarwal, which alleged that schools had hiked the fees "unreasonably" but they failed to pay the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff as per the pay panel recommendations.

IANS

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