CM Manish Sisodia hails SC verdict on school fee hike, warns them to fall in line

New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday hailed the Supreme Court’s decision making it mandatory for private schools on government land to seek its approval before implementing a fee hike and warned them to fall in line.

Speaking to reporters here, Sisodia, also the Education Minister, said justice had been delivered.

“This is a historic decision. It is a major victory for thousands of parents and students studying in private schools,” Sisodia said.

He added that the verdict will impact 450 private schools in the city that are built on government land.

“Earlier governments have destroyed the education system in government schools by giving more importance to private schools, most of which have been built in the name of politicians and their families,” Sisodia said.

He urged the private schools to be more transparent in their admission and fee structure process, or face the consequences.

“You have signed a letter from the Delhi government that clearly states that land is being allotted to you for educational purposes. If you are unable to abide by it, then let it go. The arbitrary fee hike will not be tolerated,” Sisodia added.

The Education Minister pointed out that the Delhi government sent numerous communications to private schools instructing them to not to increase fees arbitrarily but to seek approval from Delhi government.

“Of the 450 private schools, only 172 schools applied for the fee hike. When we sent CAG-empanelled auditors to examine their demands, at least 28 private schools withdrew the application,” Sisodia said.

“When the remaining were inspected, it turned out that within a year’s fees they had collected a surplus of Rs 5 crore. Why the pile up and extortion from parents?” he added.

Earlier, in its January 2016 verdict, the Delhi High Court had stated that the schools built on land allotted by Delhi Development Authority cannot hike fees before taking prior permission from the Education Department.

Thereafter, an association of private schools appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn the High Court judgment. The association argued that mid-session fee hike did not need a prior sanction from the Directorate of Education (DoE).