HC refuses urgent hearing on plea seeking waiver of school fees during lockdown

The plea also sought directions to the Delhi government to provide funds to schools to bear their liabilities like salary of staff and other expenses

The Delhi High Court has refused to grant urgent hearing to a plea seeking direction to private schools in the national capital to waive off fees for the period they are not fully operational due to COVID-19.

The plea sought direction to schools not to pressure its students to pay fees or charges and also direction to the Delhi government to provide sufficient funds to schools to bear their liabilities like salary of staff and other expenses.

Advocate and social activist Amit Sahni said he mentioned the matter before the registrar on Wednesday and also uploaded a letter on the link provided by the high court registry explaining the urgency but he was informed by the registry that your request for urgent listing has been rejected.

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The plea said lakhs of parents are facing financial crunch due to the lockdown and health emergency arising out of COVID-19 and most of the people are working in unorganized sectors like shops, vendors, small manufacturing units or factories and everyone does not have a secured job.

Although the government has directed everyone not to deduct salary of employees, the private sector, particularly those working in unorganized sector are facing difficulties in paying school fees as many of them are not getting complete salaries and many are getting salaries after deduction. For instance, even some media houses have deducted the salary of their staff in order to face the financial crisis, the petition submitted.

It said online classes being given to students, cannot be equated with actual physical classes as no other infrastructure is being used as schools are shut since March 2020.

It referred to the Haryana government’s direction to all unaided or private schools not to pressure its students or parents to deposit fees or charges till schools become operational and if any school does so, strict disciplinary action would be taken.

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