Odisha govt can direct pvt schools to reduce school fees: HC

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court today asked the Odisha government to take a decision on waiver of school fees on basis of MoUs signed with the private schools.

In its final order, Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court Justice S. Muralidhar and Judge Justice B.R. Sarangi said the State government can direct private schools to reduce fees if it wishes to do so.

“For instance, there is no indication in any of the above decisions that there was any MOU arrived at between the private institutions, with the mediation of the State, agreeing to waiver of fees in a graded manner. Nevertheless, it must be clarified that while this court has recorded the fact of the Mou having been entered into, this will not preclude individual institutions or parties, who may be aggrieved or who may have a different point of view than that recorded in the MoU or seek strict enforcement of the terms and conditions of recognition or grant of NOC as set out in the resolution dated September 23, 1996 from seeking appropriate reliefs in separate proceedings as are permissible to them in accordance with law,” the HC ordered.

The court further stated, “It was further observed that in setting up a reasonable fee structure, the element of profiteering is not as yet accepted in Indian conditions. The fee structure must take into consideration the need to generate fund to be utilized for the betterment and growth of the educational institution, the betterment of education in that institution and to provide facilities necessary for the benefit of the students. In the same decision it was noted that the fixing of a rigid fee structure, dictating the formation and composition of a government body, compulsory nomination of teachers and staff for appointment or nominating students for admissions would be unacceptable restrictions.”

The HC vacated its interim orders and said however, there shall be no order as to costs.

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