Failure to pay fees should not result in denial of online class: SC

Online Education
Student attending online class. Photo: Rido/Shutterstock

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled that schools should take no action against students for non-payment of last year's fees. Students should neither be denied online classes nor prevented from taking Board exams, said the court while delivering its verdict in a case involving the private schools in Rajasthan. 

According to the apex court, schools could offer a 15-per cent discount on last year's fees and collect the remaining amount in six equal instalments.

The fee cut was ordered as schools did not utilize many of their facilities last year. Schools can reduce fees by more than 15 per cent, said the court.  In case students found it difficult to pay the reduced fees, their pleas would be considered favourably, said the court. 

However, a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar which issued the order added that governments had no powers to direct schools to reduce fees under the Disaster Management Act. Even though governments can order when to open and close schools and frame rules on their functioning under the Act, fees are not covered, said the court.

However, if a state has framed a law on school fees, it should be followed,  added the court. In that event, executive powers under Section 162 of the Constitution could not be applied, according to the court.

The court also said that its order did not apply to the academic year 2021-22.

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