Madras High Court: R. Mahadevan, J., while addressing the issue of Government stalling collection of fees, held that,
Federation of Association of Private Schools in Tamil Nadu shall formulate a scheme with respect to collection of fees, not based on the fee structure framed by the Committee, but in instalments for a while, without prejudice to the rights of the parents and children.
State of Tamil Nadu will then take a decision on the above formulated scheme and report to the Court.
Petitioners interest should be protected — why?
K.M. Vijayan, Senior Counsel for the petitioners has contended that even under the Disaster Management Act, conducting classes through electronic media is declared as one of the choices to impart education; several schemes were framed both by Centre and State Governments for COVID-19 crisis, but no scheme with regard to the welfare and protection of the educational institutions was framed.
Further he added that any order that would restrain the private school/college managements from collecting fees would cause embarrassment to them.
“…education is being imparted online and students are availing benefit thereof, the institutions are entitled to charge tuition fees, to meet out their infrastructural expenses.”
Plight of the parents
Taking into consideration the plight of the parents, Advocate General, Vijay Narayan submitted that Government passed impugned order invoking the provisions of Disaster Management Act, restraining the private schools to forcibly collect fees from parents which does not prevents parents from paying the fees voluntarily.
Hema Muralikrishnan, Counsel appearing for private schools contended that Government wants the institution to pay the salaries of the teachers without collection of fees from students.
Court on perusal of the above contentions, passed the following order:
“petitioners herein are directed to formulate an equation / Scheme with respect to collection of fees, not based on the fee structure framed by the Committee, but in instalments for a while, without prejudice to the rights of the parents and children, by way of detailed representations and submit the same to the Government, with an advance copy marked to the learned Advocate General, through e-mail on or before 02.07.2020.
On such representations being submitted, the respondent Government shall consider the same, take a decision and file a report before this Court, on or before 06.07.2020.”
Matter to be listed on 08-07-2020.[Federation of Association of Private Schools in Tamil Nadu v. All India Private Educational Institutions Association, WPs No. 8490 to 8492 of2020, decided on 30-06-2020]