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Last Updated: May 20, 2007 - 10:48:48 AM
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No fee hike for private schools in Delhic: court
May 14, 2007 - 9:58:41 PM
Citing a Supreme Court ruling, Agrawal said no school should charge money from one student for providing education to another.

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[RxPG] New Delhi, May 14 - Public schools set up on subsidised state-owned land will have to set aside at least 15 percent of their seats for free education of poor students, but the venture cannot be funded by hiking fees, the Delhi High Court ruled Monday.

The ruling by a bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and S N Agrawal came after senior counsel Rakesh Khanna, appearing for the Action Committee of Unaided Schools, argued that these schools would have to increase the fees of their existing students in order to bear the cost of educating poor students.

'We will not give you the license to increase the fees,' the judges responded, pointing out that the Delhi government has fixed the fees for all public schools and that these schools could not just increase the fees on their own.

The case revolves round a recommendation by a court-appointed committee that all public schools built on subsidised public land - there are 361 of them in Delhi - should reserve 20 percent of their seats for the free education of poor students.

In October last year, the Delhi lieutenant-governor issued a notification ordering the implementation of the committee's recommendation, but this was challenged in court by a group of public schools on Jan 31 this year.

Counsel Ashok Agrawal, appearing on behalf of the petitioner organisation Social Jurist Monday, argued that there was no need to increase fees.

'Recently the Directorate of Education - inspected the accounts of 154 schools and millions of rupees are lying in their accounts as surplus funds,' he said, adding that the non-profit making registered societies running these schools should not be making profits in any case.

Citing a Supreme Court ruling, Agrawal said no school should charge money from one student for providing education to another.

The Court directed Khanna to file an affidavit on behalf of all the 250 schools, which had promised to abide by the court order, before the next date of hearing on May 21.

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