Search This Blog

Loading...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Monthly Fee Order_Delhi High Court


* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
+ WP(C) No.1128/2010
  April 10, 2013
MR. RAHUL CHADHA AND ORS. ..... Petitioners
Through: Mr. Ashok Aggarwal, Advocate.
versus
SUMMER FIELD SCHOOL & ORS. ..... Respondents
Through: Mr. P.D. Gupta, Advocate for respondent
Nos.1 and 2.
CORAM:
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VALMIKI J. MEHTA
To be referred to the Reporter or not? Yes
VALMIKI J. MEHTA, J (ORAL)


1. This writ petition is filed by petitioners whose wards are
studying in respondent No.1-school. The only issue requiring decision in
this case is as to whether a private recognized unaided school is entitled to
ask fees for more than one month together i.e can a private recognized
unaided school charge fees in advance for more than one month at one point
of time.


2. It is undisputed that the respondent No.1-school is governed by
the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 and the Rules framed thereunder. The
aspect of fees to be paid by the students is the subject matter of Chapter XIII
Part B of the Delhi School Education Rules, 1973. Two rules in Part B of
Chapter XIII, which contains rules from Rules 157 to 170, are relevant and
which rules are Rules 165 and 166. These rules read as under:-
“Rule 165. Last date for payment of fees and contributions.-All
fees and contributions payable to a school by a student shall be
payable by the 10th day of the month in which they are due:
Provided that where the school remains closed on the 10th day of the
month, such fees or contributions shall be payable on the date
following the 10th day on which the school re-opens:
Provided further that where the school remains closed for the long
vacation, fees and contributions shall be payable within ten days from
the day on which the school re-opens after the long vacation.
Rule 166. Fine for late payment of fees, etc.-(1) A fine for late
payment of the fees or contributions due to a school shall be charged
from the student at the rate of five paise for every days, after the 10th,
for which the default continues.
(2) The head of the school may, if satisfied that the delay in
payment of the fees and contributions was unavoidable, remit the
whole or any part the fine referred to in sub-rule (1).”


3. A reading of the aforesaid Rule 165 shows that fees have to be
paid by a student by the 10th day of the month for which they are due and
Rule 166 provides for late payment of fees i.e after the 10th day of the month
and till the default continues. A conjoint reading of these rules show that a


school cannot charge fees except for one month at one time and the last date
for payment of fees will be 10th day of the month for which the fees will
become due.
4. Learned counsel for respondent Nos.1 and 2 has drawn my
attention to the following portion which appears in Dixit’s School Manual
and which is said to contain an order passed by the Director of Education
and which reads as under:-
“Duty of collection of Fees/Funds, custody and accounts of stores,
etc. entrusted to the ministerial staff.
It has been decided that in future the collection of dues from the
students will be made by the ministerial staff posted in the schools as
the same are now on quarterly basis.
It is further ordered that the responsibility for the custody and
accounts of stores such as furniture, general equipments, fixtures etc. be
also entrusted to the ministerial staff of the schools except the
Laboratory equipment, Library books and Sports stores equipments etc.
In case of shortage/absence of ministerial staff, the Principal of the
school may depute teachers to collect school dues as herein before as
he/she deems necessary.
[Dte. Of Edn., Coord. Branch, No.F.30-3(95)-Coord. /33021-34021
dated 1.10.1990]”


5. On the basis of the aforesaid circular it is contended that the
schools are entitled to charge quarterly fees. In my opinion, though the
circular on the first blush seems to refer to collection of fees on quarterly
basis, however, a reading of the entire circular shows that the portion relied
upon is only indication of the fact that there possibly is a practice or may be


an earlier circular for collection of fees on quarterly basis. This very circular
does not authorize the private unaided schools to take fees on quarterly
basis. In any case, the Director of Education has no power to issue circulars
which will be in violation of statutory rules. Rules 165 and 166 are statutory
in character. Once rules are statutory in character it is not possible for
Director of Education to issue circulars in violation of these rules whereby
fees can be allowed to be charged by a school otherwise than every month
and which is payable by the 10th day of the month in which the fees become
due.
6. In view of the above, the writ petition is allowed. Respondent
No.1-school is directed only to collect monthly fees from the wards of the
petitioners and the respondent No.1-school will accordingly comply with the
provisions of Rules 165 and 166 of Delhi School Education Rules, 1973.
Writ petition is accordingly allowed, leaving the parties to bear their own
costs.
VALMIKI J. MEHTA, J
APRIL 10, 2013
Ne


No comments:

Post a Comment