New Delhi: In a major decision, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that private unaided schools do not have the right to hike fees charged from students. Hearing a review petition filed by the Action Committee for Unaided Private Schools seeking reconsideration of a 2004 apex court verdict, in which the SC had upheld the Director Education’s authority to take a final decision in fee hikes being implemented by schools on the ground of implementing pay commission recommendations for teachers, the SC today said only the government can regulate private school fees. The unaided private schools need to take the permission of the Director Education before hiking fees, the court said in its judgement. While filing the review petition, the unaided private schools’ action committee had said that the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations required the schools to pay teachers higher salary.
The committee had also argued in the review petition that the 2004 judgment was contrary to provisions of the Delhi School Education Act. Today’s SC verdict is a major victory for parents of school children who have been opposing private schools’ move to hike fees periodically. The SC in its 2004 verdict had also endorsed the Director Education’s move to put a freeze on the fee structure and halt transfer of funds from schools to the parent society.