In another setback to the reckless act of the private school fixing the fees in violation of the Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011, the Bombay High Court has come heavily against the Indira National School (Pune) which took adamant approach not to provide parents the mandatory documents required under the Fee Regulation Act of 2011. The judgement of the Bombay High Court is likely to help thousands of parents of Maharashtra as most of the schools do not provide important information to the members of the Parent Teachers Association- Executive Committee (PTA-EC) like audit statements, infrastructure, expenditure on administration & maintenance, fund generated from NRI’s & donations, expenditure incurred on students over total income, building rent etc.
The judgement delivered by the Bombay High Court can be viewed & downloaded as follows-
Writ Petition No. 76 OF 2019- Dr. Harshawardhan Vijay Shrotri & Ors Vs. Deputy Director of Education & Ors
The battle against the errant school management started before few years when Mr.Satish Mundada along with Smt.Meera Dilip & other parents after the intervention of the Bombay High Court got favorable order from the Divisional Fee Regulatory Committee (DFRC) which ordered the reduction of the school fees from around Rs.64000/- to Rs.52000/- which was again a huge success as the school management had proposed it to be hiked for Rs.72000/-.
Explaining the issue, Mr.Satish Mundada said ‘We welcome this judgement. The school management cannot neglect the PTA-EC which is statutorily elected body. The very basis to judge the reasonableness of the fees is to check through the documents required to be produced before the PTA-EC under the fee regulation act. However most of the schools adopt adamant approach and do not provide the parents the mandatory information as it would likely expose their profiteering. Now as the high court itself has reiterated that the school must provide the mandatory documents to the PTA-EC it would be difficult for the school management to continue such adamant approach & profiteering.
‘We also believe that if any PTA-EC member among the parents rejects the fee proposal, same should be construed as complete rejection, we would be confirming same interpretation with the competent authority soon’. Added Mr.Mundada.
The parents of the Indira National School have appealed to the parents of the state to refer the order of the Bombay High Court above given and also immediately take appropriate action if the school management does not provide them the mandatory relevant information under the Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011.
The petition was filed by the parents Dr.Harshawardhan Shrotri others and were represented by Adv.Ronita Bhattacharya.
Salient Features of this judgement in brief are as follows-
1) The school management cannot unilaterally fix the fees neglecting the Parent Teacher Association Executive Committee (PTA-EC),
2) The fee could not be determined unilaterally and on the basis of the school management’s documents only. The school management is duty bound to provide the mandatory information to the parents under the Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011 which include- audit statements, infrastructure, expenditure on administration & maintenance, fund generated from NRI’s & donations, expenditure incurred on students over total income, building rent etc.,
3) Even though the parents get the copies of the mandatory information with the fee proposal they can ask for the inspection of the original documents to the school management which shall be made available to the parents in the school premises only with prior notice.
4) The school management shall not influence the decision of the PTA-EC.
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