New Delhi: The Delhi
government has constituted a committee after the high court
directed it to examine the accounts of private schools allegedly
charging high tuition fees.
"Justice Anil Dev Singh, retired chief justice, Rajasthan High
court, will be the chairperson. J.S. Kochar, charted accountant
and R.K. Sharma, retired additional director of education, will be
the other two members," said the government notification issued
The government had Sep 9 told a division bench of Justice A.K.
Sikri and Justice Siddharth Mridul that it will set up the panel
within a week.
Earlier, the bench had directed the setting up of the committee to
audit the accounts of each of the schools to ascertain if the
hike, effected in 2009, was required.
The bench authorized the committee to scrutinize the accounts of
minority schools as well.
"If the committee finds that the hike was not required, the
schools are bound to return the money to students with 9 percent
interest," the bench had said in a 143-page verdict Aug 12.
The court suggested that the Delhi government create a permanent
regulatory authority, either by amending the education act or by
enacting new legislation, to resolve the issue of periodic hikes
in tuition fees.
It also suggested the central government frame a national policy
on fees for unaided schools.
The bench's order came on a public suit filed by Delhi Abhibhavak
Mahasangh, which had alleged that despite the Comptroller and
Auditor General's indictment of 25 private schools for accounting
malpractices including faking losses, the Delhi government had
allowed them to hike tuition fees.
The government notification, issued Feb 12, 2009, had said that
any school, charging a monthly fee of Rs.500, will be allowed to
hike this by Rs.100. Likewise, any school charging a monthly fee
of Rs.1,000 will be allowed to effect a maximum hike of Rs.200.
Schools with a monthly fee of Rs.1,500 were allowed a Rs.300 hike
and those with a fee structure ranging between Rs.1,500 and
Rs.2,000 were allowed to hike it by not more than Rs.400.
The rest of the schools with monthly fees of more than Rs.2,000
were allowed by the notification to hike it by only Rs.500.
The Delhi government had approved the hike to ease the schools'
financial burden due to the increase in teachers' salaries as per
the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.