West Bengal School Cites Govt Circular, Request High Court Not To Pass Any Order Over Fee Hike Issue

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Kolkata: As parents seek a reduction in school fees, one of the institutes on Monday submitted before the Calcutta High Court (HC) that no direction should be passed on the matter in view of a state government circular on the fee hike issue and code governing such schools.

In front of the HC, a government circular of July 20 was presented which stated to the heads of all schools functioning in West Bengal should not increase any fee including tuition fee for the session 2020-21. It also stated that schools should not charge for transport services, library fees, computer lab, sports, extra-curricular activities, etc.

The lawyer for the school also cited several judgments on the efficacy of a code governing Anglo-Indian schools in West Bengal.

The lawyer for Loreto School, Elliot Road, submitted that in view of such government instructions and the mechanism under the relevant code, no directions as prayed for in the petition should be passed.

Few other schools, however, submitted before the division bench comprising justices Sanjib Banerjee and Moushumi Bhattacharya that a more broad-based consensus that has emerged in course of the previous hearings should be put in place by the court.

Hearing a bunch of petitions by parents of students of 145 institutes of the state, the court had on September 14 said that it will be open to each of the Church of North India (CNI) schools forming a committee to suggest whether any concession can be granted across the board.

If the CNI schools are agreeable to such a mechanism, the accounts of such schools need not be presented before an expert committee set up by the court. The court also said that the parent-teacher committee of individual schools may suggest the extent of concession and the same may be accepted by the court, the division bench had said.

The HC on Monday said that the copies of the state government circular be mailed to all parties in the matter who have submitted their email IDs to the court. The court deferred the hearing till September 30 in this matter.

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