Delhi govt orders over 500 private schools to refund excess fees charged with 9% interest; gives 7 days to comply

The Delhi government has directed 575 private schools in the city to refund the excess fees charged by them citing implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission recommendations. The government has also directed the schools to refund the excess fees charged — between June 2016 to January 2018 — with 9 percent interest.

 Delhi govt orders over 500 private schools to refund excess fees charged with 9% interest; gives 7 days to comply

File image of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Getty Images

The directive by the AAP dispensation comes following the report of a committee constituted by the Delhi High Court for examining the records of private schools in respect of the implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission recommendations. The panel has audited 1,169 schools in the city so far.

"The committee has identified 575 schools in its report to refund excess fees charged by them with 9 percent interest. The schools are directed to refund the fees within 7 days and ensure disbursal of pending payment of salaries if any," an order by the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.

"Non-compliance with the order shall be viewed seriously and action shall be taken against errant schools under the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973," it added.

The DoE order has also asked district and zone deputy education officer (DDEs) to "submit a status report of compliance by the unaided recognised private schools of their jurisdiction within 15 days", as per an India Today report.

"For the first time in the country, schools are being disciplined. They are not being allowed to hike fees arbitrarily. Many schools are being made to return hiked fees. Because there is an honest government in Delhi," the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

According to a report in NDTV, the AAP government had earlier directed two schools to roll back fee hike and de-recognised a private school in the city for not providing free uniform and books to students admitted under the EWS category.

An India Today report states that last year too, a show-cause notice was issued to 449 private schools by the Delhi government, giving them two weeks to refund excess fees charged following which many schools issued public notices in newspapers asking parents to take the fee refund.

Also, in December 2017, the Delhi govt had announced an audit of the financial accounts of around 1,700 private schools after receiving complaints of "unjustified fee hike", says a DNA report.

"These schools have been sent notices in the past, yet they are not complying. We have two options as per rules. Either take over the school or de-recognize them. The second option will leave hundreds of students without a school so the government has decided to take them over," the report quotes Atishi Marlena, an adviser to Delhi's education minister Manish Sisodia.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: May 25, 2018 10:01:39 IST