Most parents & the students of the colleges do not know the legal remedy against the demand and collection of donations, illegal or capitation fees from the schools or colleges. Most of them believe that the only remedy against the demand and collection of donations, capitation fees or illegal fee demands by the schools and the colleges is to approach the education department only. Even if they approach the police department, the police refuse to lodge an FIR or to take a criminal action for the want of jurisdiction and they advice the parents or students to approach the education department only.
Strong Law Enacted Decades Ago-
However most of the people shockingly are unaware about the fact that the State of Maharashtra has enacted a strong law against the demand and collection of the donations, capitation fees or illegal fees decades ago. The Maharashtra Educational Institutions Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act 1987 has been enacted which not only declares that the the demand as well as collection of the donations, capitation fees or illegal fees as a cognizable & non bailable offence, but also prescribes minimum 1 year’s to maximum 3 year’s imprisonment to the convict. In addition to such a strong punitive action, the provision has been made to refund the capitation fees along with due interest to the person from whom such capitation fee has been collected too.
The Maharashtra Educational Institutions Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act 1987 also empowers the aggrieved person to file a complaint within 30 days to the concerned police station after the demand or collection of capitation fees is made and also the education department is empowered to refund such capitation fees along with the due interest to the complainant. However because of the tremendous and fatal ignorance of the common people about this law, we have decided to publish the detailed information about the provisions of the The Maharashtra Educational Institutions Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act 1987 as follows-
Firstly, The Maharashtra Educational Institutions Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act 1987 can be viewed or downloaded from the following link-
Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Capitation Fee) Act, 1987.Pdf
Important characteristics and provisions of The Maharashtra Educational Institutions Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act 1987 are as follows-
1) Objectives of the Act-
The Preamble of the act takes serious cognizance of the fact by mention of the educational institutions’ commercialization of the education not only at the the stage of admitting the students in the institute but also at various subsequent stages i.e. while promoting the student to the higher classes and hence to curb such an undesirable practices the act has been enacted.
2) Definition of the ‘Capitation Fee’-
Section 2(a) defines ‘Capitation Fee’ as any amount by whatever name called weather in cash or kind in excess of the prescribed or as the case may be approved rates of fees regulated under Section 4 (*Section 4 is explained in detail below).
3) Applicability Of The Act-
Section 2(b) gives broader interpretation to the definition of ‘Educational Institution’ and covers the Schools including Kindergarten, Pre-primary, Balwadi and nursery. Apart from that this act it also covers the Colleges managed by the government or local authority, university or private management including technical, professional, vocational or otherwise. Thus it is clear that the this act not only covers the schools but also the colleges too.
4) Powers of State Government to Prohibit Demand and Collection of Capitation Fees, Its Refund with Due Interest Along With Prosecution-
Section 3 prohibits the demand and collection of the capitation fees as above mentioned by any educational institution or by any person who is in charge of or is responsible for the management of such institution against consideration of admission of the student or and prosecution of any course of study or of his promotion to higher standard or class in the concerned institution. It is to be noted that this act not only declares the collection of capitation fee punishable at the time of admission stage but also capitation fee demanded or collected for the promotion of the student to the higher class in the institution is also declared as punishable.
5) Provision for the Institutes to Collect Donations in Good Faith & Class of Donors-
The Section 3 of the act further makes an exception for the collection of the donations by the educational institutes provided it is taken in the good faith. However the act clearly prohibits that reservation of admission against the donation as illegal and punishable in accordance with the other provisions of this act.
Categories of the Donors-
The act also makes categories or types of people from whom the education institutes may collect the donations as follows-
a) benevolent persons,
b) organisations or public trust or any other association of persons.
Purpose for donations- For opening of a new educational institution or for development or expansion of educational facilities in the existing educational institutions etc.
6) Fee Regulation Mechanism-
Section 4 makes provision for the fixation of the fees of the ‘Aided’ as well as Unaided Institutions and authorizes the government to regulate the tuition fee or any other fee that may be received or collected by any educational institutions.
a) Aided Institutes- Fess of the Aided Institutions shall be as prescribed by the University under the relevant University Law or as the case may be by the state government law.
b) Unaided Institutes- The fees Shall be fixed having regard to the usual expenditure excluding any expenditure on land and buildings for on any such other item as a state government may notify or approve.
(*Important- It is to be noted that the State of Maharashtra has enacted The Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011 (applicable to the schools only & not the colleges) which has come into the force since the year 2014 & is applicable for the the aided as well as unaided schools also.
We have published the guide for the parents for Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011 in Marathi the link of which is given as below, the English article Shall be published soon.
महाराष्ट्र शैक्षणिक संस्था शुल्क विनियमन अधिनियम २०११-पालकांसाठी मार्गदर्शिका
7) Right of Aggrieved Person To Approach Local Police Station Within 30 Days of Demand & Collection Of Donation or Capitation Fees-
Section 5 authorizes the aggrieved person from whom capitation fee or donation has been demanded or collected by the educational institution in consideration of admission to or for prosecution of any course of study or student’s promotion to a higher standard or class in an educational institute to file a police complaint within a period of 30 days from the demand and collection of such capitation fee or donation.
8) State Government’s Power To Enter & Inspect-
Section 6 declares that any officer not below the rank of Deputy Director of Education specially authorized by the State Government shall have power to enter and inspect any records, accounts, registers or other documents of the education institutions where he has reason to believe to that the the violation of this act has been committed and for this purpose provisions of the code of criminal procedure 1973 relating to such a search and seizure shall be applicable.
The readers should understand the most important part of this provision is that search and inspection or seizures should be done by the officer not below the rank of Deputy Director of Education who should be specially authorized to enter and search such institution. Many times it may happen that the officers below the rank of Deputy Director of Education or even if of the rank of Deputy Director of Education but who does not have got the permission from the State Government to enter and search search search institutions, does such inspection and may cause irreparable damage to the the aggrieved person as such search and inspection even if it might confirm the illegality of the education institution, can be set aside for want of their jurisdiction & on technical grounds by the competent court.
Hence people should be alert that if any officer based on their complaint under the provisions of this act it is going to carry search and seizure proceedings, he must get prior permission from the state government under this section.
Section 7 prescribes strong punitive action against a person who violates the provisions of this act. As on conviction, the convict person or management may be punished with an imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 1 year and may extend to 3 years with fine which may extend to Rs.5000/-.
For the offence of the Demand of Capitation Fee, punitive provision of imprisonment of minimum 1 year to an imprisonment which may extend to 2 years in addition to fine which may extend to Rs.5000/- has been made.
Abetment- Section 7A makes an another strong provision that the abetment of the offence punishable under this act shall be punished with the punishment provided for the offence itself under this act.
10) Collection Of The Capitation Fees as Cognizable & Non Bailable Offence-
Section 7 AA declares that all the offence punishable under this act except demanding of capitation fee shall be cognizable and non bailable.
11) Overriding Effect Of This Act-
Section 10 of this act declares that the the provisions of rules and orders made or issued under this act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent under the any existing law.
Thus it is clear that the the state of Maharashtra has enacted a very strong law in the year of 1987 against the demand and collection of capitation fee which is not only applicable for the donation or capitation fee demanded by the educational institutions which includes schools and colleges, at the time of of admissions only but also includes the demand or collection of such capitation fees for the promotion of the student to the higher class and the legality of the fees for that academic year too.
It’s only because of the ignorance of the common people and willful inaction of the State Government to implement such a strong law has resulted into the commercialization of the education in the state of Maharashtra from the decades. Hence we appeal the people of State of Maharashtra not to fall victim for the donation system & illegal fee hike of every year, but to fight against it without any fear…Jaihind!
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Founder President-Bharatiya Krantikari Sangathan
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