Punjab schools can charge tuition fee only if students offered on-line classes daily: High Court


Saurabh Malik 

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1 

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday ruled that tuition fee would be charged only if the students in Punjab were offered on-line classes on a day-to-day basis during the lockdown period.

The Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu also made it clear that the school managements would not charge transportation charges till further orders, since the students were not being transported to and fro due to lockdown.

The school managements were also directed to file balance sheets duly verified by a chartered accountant for preceding seven months from today. For the purpose, the Bench set two-week deadline.

The Bench also directed that all the teachers and staff members, whether permanent or appointed on contractual, ad-hoc or temporary basis, would be entitled to regular salaries they were getting before the imposition of lockdown on March 23.

The order virtually modifies another Division Bench’s directions passed some three months back. The Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli had on July 20 made it clear that all the parties would adhere to the arrangements set out in the impugned judgment by the Single Bench.

The Chief’s Bench had also emphasise that all the students would remit their school fee in sync with the directions issued by the Single Judge.

However, the names of the students who had either sought or applied for school fee concession or waiver would not be struck off from the roles till their pleas were decided by the school management or by the regulatory body.

In its detailed order on an appeal filed against the orders of a Single Judge in the school fee matter, Justice Sharma’s Bench asserted the principle of “Quid Pro Quo” of “advantage granted in return for something” would be applicable.

“The tuition fee can be charged only if the students are being imparted education on regular basis by offering on-line classes during the lockdown period in order to balance equities,” the Bench ruled.

Before parting with the case, the Bench made it clear that the directions would remain in force till the disposal of thee appeals. The Bench also admitted the case before fixing it for November 12 for final hearing.


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