High Court Halts Delhi Government’s Circular Mandating Approval for Fee Hike

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Through an interim order issued by the Delhi High Court, it has stayed the circular issued by the Delhi Government, which mandated unaided private schools that have been allocated land by government bodies to obtain prior approval from the Director of Education (DoE) before increasing fees for the upcoming 2024–25 academic session.

The Ruling

Justice C. Hari Shankar, in his order, issued notice to the DoE in response to a petition filed by the ‘Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools’. This petition challenged the March 27 circular and sought interim relief. The court then stated, “Until the next hearing, the circular dated March 27, 2024, issued by the DoE, will not be in effect.”

The High Court noted that, based on its 2019 ruling in the Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools vs. DoE case, unaided recognized private schools don’t need approval from the DoE before raising fees, regardless of the land clause.

The court, while issuing notice in the plea, noted that previous judgments stated private unaided schools could enhance fees without prior approval, as long as they avoided profiteering or commercialization and didn’t charge capitation fees. It emphasized the difference between commercialization and making profits.

The court directed the DoE to respect its earlier ruling in the Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools case, which stated that private unaided schools didn’t need prior approval for fee hikes.

Next Hearing

The case is scheduled for the next hearing on July 31. The DoE has been given a four-week period to submit its response to the petition.

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About the Author: Hemansh Tandon