Clarifications were made by the division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that as the schools are permitted to collect tuition fee, until disposal of the students’concession/ waiver of school fee representations, the school shall not strike out their names.
An appeal was heard against the single bench order of the High Court, allowing all schools, , to collect the tuition fee irrespective of whether they offered online classes during the lock-down period or not.
A division bench comprised of Chief Justice Ravi ShankerJhaand Justice ArunPallimentioned,
“In the given circumstances, we emphasize that all the students would remit their school tuition fee in sync with the directions issued by the learned Single Judge. However, the names of those students, who have either sought or apply for concession or waiver of school tuition fee, their names shall not be struck off from the roles till their application(s) are decided by the School Management or by the Regulatory Body constituted under section 7 of the Punjab Regulation of Fee of Unaided Educational Institutions Act, 2016, as the case may be.”
The bench marked confidence that the authorities or the Regulatory Body of such representations shall make every endeavour to decide the same as expeditiously as possible in tuition fees case .
The single-bench order dated June 30, 2020 was upheld and expressed,
“we rather consider it expedient to observe that until further orders, all the parties shall adhere to the arrangements set out in the impugned judgment. Additionally, in the given circumstances, we emphasize that all the students would remit their school fee in sync with the directions issued by the learned Single Judge.”
Clarifications were made by the court that it is an interim order in nature, and shall be subject to any further order passed in the appeals.
On September 21, 2020, the matter would be heard.
Reasons were expressed in the orderthat even though classes were not being held, schools were required to meet other infrastructural expenses and also pay salaries to its employees. Therefore it concluded that there is no rational in laying down such a classification especially when the obligations and basic expenses of all private un-aided schools remain the same irrespective of whether they are conducting online classes or not.
Case Title: Amandeep Singh &Ors. v. State of Punjab &Ors.
Case No.: LPAs-409, 411, 413, 414, 415, 419, 420, 421, 447, 448 & 449 of 2020 (O&M)
Quorum: Chief Justice Ravi ShankerJha and Justice ArunPalli