The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that private schools erected on public lands cannot hike their fees without obtaining an approval from the Delhi government, The Indian Express reported. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said that if schools were unwilling to abide by this condition, they should shut down and vacate immediately.
The order assumes significance as private schools were prepared to announce the new fee structure soon. More than 400 schools will be affected by this order. The apex court dismissed a petition filed by private schools in the Capital against the Delhi High Court’s January 2016 order. The Supreme Court on Monday said that if they had taken the land from Delhi Development Authority, they would have to abide by the Education Act, reported India Today.
Last year, the Delhi High Court had ruled that private schools cannot hike fee without permission from the Directorate of Education after a public interest litigation was filed accusing the private schools of flouting agreement rules. However, two groups representing private unaided schools had challenged the Delhi High Court order in the apex court.
A new set of guidelines were approved by Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal on January 7, 2017, which stated that applicants living around a school should be given priority, among other rules. The process for nursery admissions in Delhi’s 1,400 private schools began on January 2. The first list and the waiting list will be announced on February 15.