Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Demanding fees for facilities that students cannot use is profiteering -Bombay High Court

On 15/06/2021, the Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government to file its response to a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking a direction to schools to collect only 50 per cent of the annual fees for the academic year 2020-21.

The petitioners, including Member of Legislative Assembly Atul Dattatray Bhatkhalkar and Mumbai lawyer Siddharth Sharma, submitted that the fees charged by the schools for the year 2020-21 remained as was normally charged did not change despite the changing factors like the COVID pandemic.

While acknowledging that schools may have incurred costs for developing the online class process, the petitioners maintained that such expenses would still be less than the expenditure incurred by parents to ensure their children had electronic devices, internet connectivity, etc to attend such online classes.

A Bench of Justices SP Deshmukh and GS Kulkarni were informed by the Government Pleader Geeta Shastri that a Divisional Fee Regulatory Committee was constituted by the State through a notification on June 7, 2021.

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