Taking into serious consideration, complaints with respect to schools that are demanding a complete fee payment which stands against its order issued on July 17, 2020, the High Court has given a direction to the State to make an inquiry and take action against delinquent schools.
The Madras High Court gave a caveat to the schools insisting on the full payment of fees, which is in violation of the Court's earlier order instructing that the payment of fees be carried forward in the format of installments during the COVID-19 induced pandemic, may be held accountable for contempt of Court. Justice N Anand Venkatesh was apprised on August 1, 2020, by the State that there were several complaints taken into consideration from parents that Educational Institutions were being resolute on the payment of the entire fees, without paying heed to the Court's July 17, 2020 order which is contradictory.
On July 17, 2020, the Judge had issued an interim order which instructed educational institutions that they can only seek 40% of tuition fees from students for the time being, while schools are shut. Parents and guardians were allotted time until August 31, 2020, to pay the sum. Furthermore, 35% of the tuition fee would be sought two months after schools physically reopened, after the pandemic situation had improved. The order had been issued so as to balance the interests of educational institutions in paying their staff as well as that of the students and parents during the pandemic spread. On July 31, 2020, the Court was informed that there were schools asking for the payment of fees in violation of this order, and moreover, that parents were reluctant to give a written grievance on the same, in fear of repercussions harming their children’s education. "This Court is taking a very serious note of the violation that has been brought to its notice.", said the court. Justice Venkatesh also warned that if any educational institutions have gone against and contravened the Court's order dated July 17, 2020, contempt of court action will be filed with respect to the same. "Based on the oral complaint, the Education Department shall conduct an immediate inquiry and if it is found that the Institutions are collecting fees in violation of the interim orders passed by this Court, immediate action shall be taken against the Schools. The particulars of the Schools shall also be provided to this Court and if this Court finds that there is any violation, this Court will not hesitate to initiate Contempt Proceedings against the person in charge of the School." The Director of School Education, Chennai has been instructed to submit a report on the action taken over the issue by August 17, 2020, which is when the Court will hear this limited issue. The main issue is posted to come up next on October 5, 2020. [READ ORDER]