In a major relief to hundreds of parents of Gujarat & indirectly to crores of parents of India fighting against commercialization of education & illegal fee hike by the private schools, the Supreme Court has directed the private schools of Gujarat to charge the fees as fixed by the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) & also to revoke the Leaving Certificates issued to the children over non payment of hiked fee which parents alleged are in violation of the Fee Regulation Committee formed under the The Gujarat Self Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017.
Earlier the Supreme Court had directed around 1800 schools of Gujarat to submit the proposals to the Fee Regulation Committee (FRC) formed under The Gujarat Self Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017 & had further confirmed the right of the state government to take appropriate action for non submission of the proposals by the schools to the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) of Gujarat.
The salient features of the interim order of the Supreme Court above mentioned are as follows- 1) The schools cannot charge the fees in violation of the fees fixed by the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) formed under the The Gujarat Self Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017. 2) The Global Indian International School will have to readmit the expelled children over fee issue row meaning thereby other schools of the State of Gujarat who have expelled the children over the same issue will have to readmit the children. 3) The schools shall not demand any fees in excess of the fees fixed by the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) till the next hearing likely to be held in August 2019.
Explaining the issue, Me.Dheeraj Gedam said that, ‘After the arbitrary expulsion of around more than 450 children, we launched peaceful protests at the office of the education department. As per the education department’s report, the school management has committed the gross violations of the Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011 & The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009. The school management wanted us to pay around Rs.75000/- & Rs.85000/- for the two academic years on the contrary we wanted to pay Rs.49950/- for both the academic years respectively.’
‘Finally instead of total default and for the purpose of the school management to meet the administrative and other expenses, we decided to pay the Rs.49950/- under protest for each academic year and would pay the balance amount only after the adjudication of the disputed fee by the competent court. The school management has assured the readmission of the children after the payment of mutually agreed fees.’ Added Mr.Gedam.
The another parent on condition of anonymity said, ‘The school shall be reopened on 8th April 2019. We believe that the school management would abide by its commitment and would cancel expulsion and readmit the expelled children as assured before th education department, failure to do so shall not only result the appropriate civil and criminal proceedings against the school management but we would initiate the same against the officials of the education department also.’
The organization has received the copy of the letter of the Education Officer as follows-
The student’s leaving certificates are issued unilaterally by the school management over non payment of the illegal fees, allege parents.
In yet another shocking incident, Amanora school (Hadapsar, Pune) administration has expelled hundreds of students over dispute of payment of fee issue with the parents. The leaving certificates of students have been sent through postal mode to hundred of parents of the school. The more shocking fact is that the parents today were present before the Education Minister Mr.Vinod Tawde’s office to get the update about his assured action taken report against the school management and at the same time they were informed about the issuance of leaving certificates without any demand from the parents.
Explaining about the issue, Mr.Dheeraj Gedam said, ‘We have been raising the issues against illegalities committed by the school management in fixing the fees of previous academic years. The education department has also confirmed the illegalities committed by the school management in their various reports & even the proposal of the cancellation of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) has been submitted to the higher authorities since past many months. In spite of these facts the education department mere has remained mute spectator thereafter and hence the school management has taken benefit of their indifference time to time’.
‘Accordingly we recently met Education Minister Mr.Vinod Tawde at the Mantralay on 1st of March 2019. Even the representatives of the school management were present in the meeting. Accordingly Mr.Tawde had assured us that he would soon issue the appropriate direction for the fixation of the fees as the same was declared illegal by the education department itself. He also had instructed the school management not to harass or expel the children at any cost over the fee dispute. Hence today we visited his office to ask about the development about the action taken report assured by him and shockingly at the same time we came to know the fact that the school management has expelled our children and issued the leaving certificates without our demand.’ Added Mr.Gedam.
The facts we have observed after examining the documents provided by the parents are as follows-
The education department has confirmed in their various reports that the school management has violated the provisions of the Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011 in fixation of the fees and hence recommendations for strong actions against the school management have been made.
Also the school has been found guilty of violating the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and hence action under S.18 is also recommended against the school management.
A senior citizen has taught a lesson to electricity board which rectified the wrongful and excessive electricity bill fearing civil & criminal action.
Using the legal awareness articles published by our organization related to electricity laws especially to consumer rights under The Electricity Act 2003, a senior citizen from remote village of Konkan area of State of Maharashtra has taught an errant Maharashtra State Electricity Board a lesson and successfully compelled them to immediately rectify the wrongful and excessive electricity bill of Rs.14100 to as low as Rs.310/-.
Explaining the issue, Mr.Gurunath Bandwalkar a resident of Dabholi Village in Konkan region of Maharashtra said, ‘I used to get average electricity bills around Rs.200/- for my home usages since past many months. In the current month also i expected it would be the same as there was not any extra electricity usage than average, however i was shocked to see the electricity bill amount at Rs.14100/- for current one month’s usage only. I visited the local Maharashtra State Electricity Board’s (MSEB) office where i got rude replies in addition to the warning to pay the bills immediately to avoid disconnection which caused me tremendous mental harassment’.
‘Accordingly i contacted my colleague and Mumbai based social activist Mr.Prasad Tulaskar who informed me about the ongoing legal awareness articles about electricity laws by Bharatiya Krantikari Sangathan. Thereafter i again went to office of the MSEB and explained S.56 of the Electricity Act which allows to pay the preceding 6 month’s average bill under protest to consumer in case of dispute and also warned them of criminal prosecution in case of disconnection for such wrongful bill. The officer in charge immediately rectified my electricity bill from Rs.14110/- to Rs.310’ Added Mr.Bandwalkar.
We have yet again proved the fact that if the common people of the country are provided legal awareness & well planned strategy, they are enough courageous to teach the corrupt system a permanent lesson. If this can happen like in present case in the remote village like Dabholi of Konkan region of Maharashtra, same can be achieved at other regions of the country too. It further gives us immense pleasure as the hard worked legal awareness articles have come useful for common people to fight against the corrupt system.
Address of Police Complaints Authority of Maharashtra, Pune & Navi Mumbai.
The organization has already published a detailed article about how after the historic intervention of the Supreme Court of India in the year 2006, all the central as well as state governments were directed to establish the Police Complaints Authority at the district as well as state levels under the chairmanship of the retired district and high court judges respectively.
As explained in the detailed article above mentioned the failure to comply the direction of the Supreme Court of India of not setting up the Police Complaints Authority is to be construed as the contempt of the court. The State of Maharashtra fearing the contempt proceedings in one of the contempt petition established the Police Complaints Authority at the state level and few other districts of the state. However the it has not established the Police Complaints Authority in other districts yet.
We appeal the people of the state to file complaints and ask the local MLA’s for the failure of the state government in this regard. The organization is also preparing its legal strategy against the willful inactiveness of the state government.
However in the view of the facts above mentioned, we are publishing the present addresses of the Police Complaints Authorities in the State of Maharashtra. We thank Mr.Prasad Tulaskar, social activist from Mumbai for providing us this information.
Address of Police Complaints Authorities- (State of Maharashtra)-
1) Maharashtra State Police Complaints Authority-
Address- 4th Floor, Cooperage Telephone Exchange,
Maharshee Karve Road, Nariman Point, Mumbai- 40021 Emailfirstname.lastname@example.org
2) Divisional Police Complaints Authority, Pune Division Address- 1 St Floor, Anant Heights, Jadhav Nagar,
Next to Nanded City, S.No- 29/219
Sinhagad Road, Pune-411068
The complainants feel relieved after they got some compensation after their grievances were posted by the organization & media.
The organization had earlier published an article wherein it was mentioned that in spite of making numerous complaints the common people were not getting justice from the ‘Aaple Sarkar Grievance Redressal Portal’. The portal which is operated and managed by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra’s office assures the common people that their grievances shall be resolved within 21 days. However the organisation has observed that many complaints were not resolved even after the completion of one year from the submission of their complaints to the ‘Aaple Sarkar Grievance Redressal Portal’.
These complaints included serious issues like illegal fee collection by the private schools, bogus assurances of the government jobs and collecting huge money from the job aspiring candidates, complaints against the adulterated food and inaction of the food and drugs department. The link published by the organization is as follows- Chief Minister’s ‘Aaple Sarkar Grievance Redressal’ portal fails miserably.
After the organization published the article above mentioned, newspaper journalist Namrata Fadnis of Daily Lokmat took the cognizance of the same and news was accordingly published in Daily Lokmat. The copy of the news is as follows-
Also the organization had decided to take appropriate legal action against the ‘Aaple Sarkar Grievance Redressal Portal’. Thereafter the portal swung into the action finally & complainants got some relief.
The one of the complainant Mr Vaibhav Jadhav who was cheated by false and bogus assurance of government job by one private firm for Rs 65000/-, has received Rs 65,000/- by the concerned firm recently. Explaining this aspect Mr.Jadhav explained that ‘I belong to farmers family, Rs.65000/- is a big amount for me and the firm had openly assured on their website that they will secure job in a government agencies. However after I came to know that I have been cheated, I filed complaint to the police department which were not taking the appropriate action.
‘Thereafter I raised my voice against the portal and the article was published by the organisation and the daily Lokmat. I immediately got refund of Rs.65000/- from the concerned firm. Now the police department are also probing the matter further and the concerned firm has removed the advertisement from their website assuring the job in government agencies too. As it is clear that no one else shall be cheated like me I think that considerable justice has been done.’
In another such incident where the mobile repairing shop had assured to repair the mobile in 2 days & yet the mobile shop executive was not returning the mobile even after weeks without any satisfactory answer, Adv.Siddharthshankar Sharma filed a complaint to the concerned police station. As the police were not taking the immediate action, Mr Sharma filed a complaint to the ‘Aaple Sarkar Grievance Redressal Portal’.
Explaining this aspect, Mr.Sharma said, ‘After i filed complaint before the portal, the police administration immediately took the stern action and the owner of the mobile shop gave the written statement that because of his mistake he has lost the mobile and thereafter he voluntarily bought new mobile. The police are probing further about the lost mobile and investigation is going on, hence I am satisfied about it’.
No action in some other big issues yet- Reacting over the positive developments above mentioned, Mumbai based social activist Mr Prasad Tulaskar has mentioned that in spite of his name was also published in the newspaper & in article yet the state government has not taken any action till date though more than year since then has been gone after making the complaint to the grievance portal. The organisation shall provide all necessary legal assistance to Mr.Tulaskar in this matter.
We thank Daily Lokmat & Namrata Fadnis, also the earlier inactive police department which later took stern actions & also the ‘Aaple Sarkar Grievance Redressal Portal’ and hope immediate action shall be taken in all the other major issues, if not we would be taking necessary legal action against the government agencies soon.
The Parent Teachers Association Executive Committee (PTA-EC) may approach high courts for their right to approach DFRC.
Giving the ray of hope to thousand of parents of State of Maharashtra the Supreme Court has disposed off the Special Leave Petition filed against the judgement of the Bombay High Court which had rejected the single parent’s right to approach the Divisional Fee Regulatory Committee (DFRC) stating that ‘Question of law about the right of the Parent Teacher Association Executive Committee (PTA EC) to approach the Divisional Fee Regulatory Committee (DFRC) is left open.’
Parent’s Indifference for filing of Special Leave Petition-
With utmost respect to the Bombay High Court, after the judgement above mentioned was given the parents got huge setback as all the orders given by the DFRC were set aside. The DFRC had ordered roll back of the fees in many schools which also got set aside. In Pune alone more than 18 schools’ roll back of fees orders were affected. However in spite of this among thousands of parents none of the parent filed any special leave petition before the Supreme Court since the year 2017. I had to appeal and literally convince many parents to come forward to file the Special Leave Petition which was filed and finally adjudicated in the year 2019.
Finally the parents from the IES Modern English School & Euro School came forward yet the funds gathered were not enough for us to go to supreme court & file the Special Leave Petition. Under such circumstances,my learned lawyer friend Adv.Mayank Kshirsagar & his team who earlier too had helped few parents from Maharashtra, filed the present Special Leave Petition & pursued it till finality. The order of the Supreme Court is as follows-
Important aspect of the judgement of the Supreme Court as follows-
1) Single parent’s right to approach DFRC rejected- The Supreme Court has rejected to interfere with the Bombay High Court’s judgement and hence single parent’s right to approach to Divisional Fee Regulatory Committee (DFRC) is also rejected by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court mentioned that the DFRC would be flooded with the complaints if such right is upheld (It is with utmost respect to the Supreme Court i would like to mention that for the professional courses such right of the parents is already upheld with limitation clause of 30 days to make complaint to Shikshan Shulk Samiti, it ought to have been considered by the Supreme Court). 2)Question of law to PTA-EC’s right to approach DFRC is left open-
However after the Adv.Mayank Kshirsagar pointed out that the act is so arbitrary & unjust that it allows only the school management to approach the parents & not even the Parent Teacher Association Executive Committee, the Supreme Court considered the contention so raised & has mentioned that the Question of law to PTA-EC’s right to approach DFRC is left open which might be helpful if the PTA-EC of the schools again file the writ petitions before the Bombay High Court.
Strategy to be adopted by the parents- We make following suggestions to the parents- 1) Not to get panicked, even though the single parent had no right to approach DFRC in the years 2017-2019 many parent activists have successfully lodged an FIR against many reputed schools, principals have been dismissed & not only even refund orders have been made but in some schools the parents actually got partial refunds of excessive & illegal fees after adopting the strategy to fight their issues u/s.16 of the Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulations of Fee Act 2011. 2)‘Mr.Counsel, legislators have done this, approach your legislators (MLA’s) was remark made by the judges during the hearing and hence i firmly believe a decisive protest movement by the people would sure yield positive results. Decisive protests movement has to be launched against the ministry of education, all the activist should come on common platform because as per the confidential sources, the government is likely to carry out the amendment in upcoming session on 25th February 2019 wherein draconian amendments like 25% parent’s consent for making complaint to DFRC, recovering interest or fine from the parents for late fees etc. might be put for approval, the detailed blog regarding draconian amendments is given in following article- Amendment to weaken Maharashtra Educational Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011. 3) We have always provided our legal assistance to almost every parent activist in their ongoing battles against the errant schools in State of Maharashtra and if any such draconian amendments are brought by the state government, we would again be challenging before the appropriate courts, however at the same time we appeal people to come forward and join us gathering resources for the movement generously.
The organization again congratulates and thanks the sincere and relentless efforts put by Adv.Mayank Kshirsagar & his team, parents Mr.Prasad Tulaskar, Smt.Anagha Acharekar, Mr.Pankaj Dabholkar, Smt.Manasi Pathare, Smt.Rachana Talekar & parents from EURO School (Pune) who have continued their battle till the end.
We publish such blogs as people do not understand all the social & legal aspects of any legal matters from the general media news.
Bombay High Court-Schools Cannot Fix the Fees Unilaterally neglecting PTA-EC.
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 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.
Must Read-Legal Awareness Articles for Common Man as follows-
Discussion of MLA & Minister for fee act amendment can’t be disclosed without permission-Maharashtra Assembly.
In yet another shocking development detrimental to lacs of parents of Maharashtra, the Maharashtra Assembly has refused to provide the information under the Right to Information ACT 2005 about the discussions, suggestions, proceedings & reply given by the Education Minister Shri.Vinod Tawde for the recent amendments approved before the legislative assembly of Maharashtra Education Institutions Regulation of Fee Act 2011. As explained by the organization earlier the amendments are detrimental to the interests of the parents & are extremely pro school as it requires 25% parents mandatory consent to make complaint against the school, recover interest for late fees etc.
The education activist Shri.Prasad Tulaskar has again exposed the government under the Right to Information Act 2005. The secretary of the Maharashtra Legislative Secretariat has replied under Right to Information Act 2005 that the details of the proceedings, suggestions, discussions and reply given by the education minister Shri.Vinod Tawde cannot be given without the permission of the chairman of the legislative assembly.
Speaking about the issue, Mr.Prasad Tulaskar said ‘The Right to Information Act 2005 puts no such mandatory permission required for the general information. Instead our constitution heavily relies upon the principle of public participation in the law making process. Had it been information about some national or state security issue, i could have understood such permission, but what government is trying to hide by denying the information about the educational law amendments & its discussions by MLA’S & minister? I firmly believe as such information would expose the black face of the politicians hence they have denied me the same. Obviously i would be filing the appeal and other necessary proceedings against such arbitrary and reckless act by the government’.
The copy of the RTI application & reply received by Mr.Tulaskar from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Secretariat is as follows-
The organization would be providing all the legal assistance to Mr.Prasad Tulaskar in this matter.
The Government blocks Child Rights Panel Functioning With Pre-planned Conspiracy. The shocking information revealed under RTI Act 2005.
The Government blocks Child Right Panel’s Functioning With Pre-planned Conspiracy- The Black Face of the Government of Maharashtra Exposed- The information under the Right to Information Act 2005 has exposed the black face of the government of Maharashtra as it has been revealed that even the Chief Minister’s Office along with the Women and Child Development Department has blocked the functioning of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights by allowing appointment of only 4 posts out of 12 sanctioned by the government itself from past 4 years. Aggrieved with these state of affairs, Mr.Pravin Ghuge, chairman of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has taken an unprecedented move before few months issuing the legal notice against Mr.Sumeet Mallik, the Chief Secretary of State of Maharashtra.
The organization has been providing the legal assistance to the parents whose children have been inflicted punishments of expulsion from school, mental and physical harassment for demand and collection of illegal fees since past one year. In pursuance to this, few parents got success as their expelled children were readmitted to the schools and some schools even refunded the excessive fees taken from the parents. The headmistress of one school was also dismissed post such legal proceedings. The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights had played important role in these proceedings. However immediately after these minor but important success incidents, all of sudden, the working of the commission has been stopped since past few months. The commission has literally not conducted any hearings in past 8-10 months with few exception. Accordingly the organization along with the education activist Mr.Prasad Tulaskar from Mumbai decided to investigate the causes of such inaction which has resulted into such shocking discovery.
‘Conspiracy’ by the Chief Minister’s Office & Women and Child Development Department Explained with Evidences- As per the information received by Mr.Prasad Tulaskar from the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights itself, the following shocking information have been revealed-
1) The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights which has been entrusted with the responsibility of the protection of the child rights of the children all over the Maharashtra, has been functioning with only 4 appointed staff than actual sanctioned 12 staff.
2) As per the written statement of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights itself, the commission had earlier to carry the responsibilities under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act 2005 only but was later entrusted with additional responsibilities under the The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 & Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The Supreme Court of India also time to time has entrusted the commission with supervisory role in many matters & also directed the strengthening of the commission to the state governments. However in spite of these facts, the commission has mentioned in their written statement that the because of the inaction from the state government, the functioning of the commission has become practically impossible.
3) One of the most shocking fact revealed from the information provided by the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights is that only because the Administrative Officer is not appointed from many years, the commission has failed to realize the funds it has received from the international bodies like UNICEF! The State Government has not acted upon the repeated request from the commission over the years to appoint Administrative Officer whose signature was required to materialize such funds which resulted into loss of such funds ultimately! Even the funds for the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ failed to be realized for the inaction of the State Government. It is pertinent to note that while central government is spending hundreds of crore rupees on advertisement for ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’, the state government is not letting the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to utilize such funds.
4) Few top officers appointed earlier did not bother to attend the hearing of the commission and got themselves transferred to other department.
5) Most Shocking- What could be explained as the worst development for any state government is that, as per the written statement made by the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, aggrieved with the inaction of the state government to protect the child rights which include their protection of right to education and also serious rights of protection against the sexual offences, the Chairman of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Mr.Pravin Ghuge has served legal notice to Mr.Sumeet Mallik, the Chief Secretary of the State of Maharashtra and has warned to take appropriate action or face legal consequences.
Evidences- As the regular readers of our website are aware of the fact that we publish the article only after it is scrutinized by our legal team, the new users can read our previous articles by clicking on various tabs on home page including legal remedies for the common people.
The evidences of the facts above mentioned from the written statements of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights itself are given as follows (As the complete set of document included 59 pages we are uploading important pages of the report as follows, the readers are requested to read caption below the images attached to get the information about the uploaded file briefly)-
If the government does not take immediate action for the smooth and efficient working of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the organization would launch public protest and or legal proceedings before the appropriate court.
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