Unaided private schools on DDA land denied fee hike liberty

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea by unaided recognised private schools, challenging a Delhi High Court order making it a must for them to take the Delhi government’s prior sanction before hiking tuition fee.

On January 19, 2016, the Delhi High Court had made it clear that private unaided schools, which were allotted land by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), shall not hike fees without prior sanction of the Delhi government’s Education Department even if was during the mid-session.

The bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud dismissed the plea by the Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools and the Association of Public Schools.

The school bodies had contended that the Delhi government’s permission is necessary if the proposed hike is before the start of an academic session and not if it was during mid-session.

The two petitioners’ associations had relied on top court’s constitution bench judgment that had said that private unaided and minority institutions have full autonomy in the matters of their administration and the admissions.

Finding no merit, the bench dismissed their plea, thereby upholding the January 19, 2016, Delhi High Court order.

The High Court had also on July 27, 2016, dismissed the plea by the private schools, seeking the recall of January 19 order.

With top court upholding the High Court order, now the Delhi government is likely to have a greater footprint on the administration of these schools.