Kochi: The Kerala High Court has criticised the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for not issuing a circular, stating that only the expenses should be levied as school fees from students this academic year.
Justice Devan Ramachandran said it was unfortunate that the CBSE has not issued the circular till now and instead sought more time.
The HC observed that the CBSE was washing its hands off the issue and putting the responsibility on the government.
The CBSE submitted in court that it was not in a position to verify the income-expenditure of schools. But did not give any reason for this. The CBSE in its pleading also sought changes in the court’s directives but said that it was ready to issue the circular. The board also sought more time. The HC then said that the CBSE need not issue the circular now.
The petition will be considered again on December 17. The HC also gave time till then for the complainants to pay the first-term fee. It also asked the CBSE regional director to verify the income-expenditure data submitted by the schools as per its earlier instructions.
The HC on November 20 had instructed that both the CBSE and the government should issue a circular stating that only the expenses should be levied as fees at schools in Kerala during this academic year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The court gave the directive while considering a batch of petitions by students and parents, seeking fee concession at unaided, CBSE, and ICSE schools.
After the senior government pleader informed that a circular was issued on December 2, the HC sought an explanation from the government over implementing this.
The court also sought an explanation over whether a specified authority in the education department can address the complaints of overcharging by way of fees.