In a major development, Justice Anil Dev Singh committee, appointed to look into the excess fees charged by private schools in Delhi on the pretext of implementing the 6th Pay Commission, on Friday moved the Delhi High Court seeking another year to complete verification of records of the institutions. The committee, which was set up by the high court in 2011, has moved an application before a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Najmi Waziri seeking extension of its tenure, which will expire on December 31, by one more year. It has contended that till date, it has examined over 1200 private unaided schools, of which 565 institutions have been recommended to refund over Rs 154 crore collected without any justification from the parents. The panel said it was also hearing review applications moved by several schools who have opposed its recommendations. It said that considering the time taken by the schools to produce their accounts and their verification by the committee, it would need another year to carry out the task given to it by the high court.
Application by committee and petition by NGO
The application was filed by the committee in the ongoing petition by an NGO, Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh, which has claimed that over 500 private schools were yet to refund the excess fees charged by them and sought initiation of contempt proceedings against all such institutions. Subsequently, several schools have moved the court challenging the committee’s recommendations as well as a May 29 order of the Delhi government directing refund of the excess fees charged by them and warning of derecognition or takeover by the Directorate of Education in case of failure to do so. Thereafter, the bench had directed the private schools to deposit with the high court 75 per cent of the excess fees charged by them if they wanted protection from the coercive action.
On September 25, several schools had claimed before the court that they have complied with the direction to deposit 75 per cent of the excess fees charged by them.