The Karnataka HC
recently heard a petition challenging the state government notification dated January 29, 2021 by which all categories of Private Educational Unaided Institutions only for the Academic Year 2020-21 are directed to collect only 70% Tuition Fees from the parents as collected for the academic year 2019-20 and other charges are not be collected. The plea by way of interim relief sought to stay the impugned notification, pending disposal of the petition.
A single bench of Justice R Devdas of Karnataka HC issued a notice on Wednesday (February 24, 2021) and directed the state government to file its statement of objections within a period of 10 days. The court said that after the statement of objections are filed by the respondents, it would hear the matter immediately. Arguments by the petitioner:
- A petition filed by Associated Managements of Primary & Secondary Schools in Karnataka(KAMS) through advocate G R Mohan states that Petitioner association, which has around 3655 member private unaided budget schools with about 55000 teaching and non teaching staff and staff they depend on the fees that is being paid by the students.
- Unaided private educational institutions, who are the members of the Petitioner Association, are not in a position to pay the salary and others benefits to its teaching and non teaching staff till date due to the reasons that the Parents are not coming forward to pay the fees for their wards till date.
- If the management of the private unaided schools do not pay the salary and other allowance both teaching and non teaching staff may search for other jobs and when the reopening of schools permitted by the Union of India MHA the private educational institutions will suffer badly.
- The management of the private schools have to meet various commitments even till date such as payment of provident fund, ESI benefits, various taxes, electricity and water charges, security systems maintenance.
It is also claimed that the Notification dated 29-01-2021 is issued contrary to the directions of the High Court in W.P.9855 of 2020 dated 14-09-2020 and the SC judgment in the case of TMA Pai Foundation and others v. State of Karnataka where the SC observed –
“It is in the interest of general public that more good quality schools are established; autonomy and non-regulation of the school administration in the right of appointment, admission of students and the fee to be charged will ensure more such institutions are established.”