The Delhi government’s Directorate of Education on Thursday issued an order withdrawing the recognition of a private school in Dwarka locality for allegedly violating land allotment terms by increasing its fee without prior approval, The Indian Express reported. The order will come into effect from April 1, 2019.
The department said it had ordered Mount Carmel School in Dwarka’s Sector 22 to stop fresh admissions for the academic session 2019-’20. The school is a Christian minority institution run by the Mount Carmel School Society.
According to the order, private unaided recognised schools in Delhi operating on land allotted by government agencies cannot increase fee without prior approval of the director of education. After a Delhi High Court verdict, the directorate had sought online proposals for the year 2016-’17 from schools that wanted to increase fee.
Mount Carmel School was issued a showcause notice in February 2016, citing non-compliance, after the school hiked fee by 25% without seeking the director’s approval. However, the school contended that the directorate order was not applicable to minority schools and that Mount Carmel was being run on land allotted to it at institutional rates, minus any concession.
School principal Michael Williams said they would approach the court and seek legal relief. “In 1998, the school land of Rs 1.5 crore was acquired for Rs 1.6 crore, which was not a concessional rate,” he said. “This is unfortunate, as under the Delhi School Education Act and Rules, 1973, the DoE [Directorate of Education] cannot cancel recognition of minority schools.”
Williams told PTI: “Though we have not received the notice yet we have got to know about it from media reports. We urge the students and parents to not panic and assure that we would come out clean.”
The government has also issued notices to three other schools and directed them to refund to parents the extra fee they charged between 2006 and 2011, along with 9% interest, The Times of India reported. These include Bal Bharati School in Dwarka, St Marks Senior Secondary School in Meera Bagh, and Springdales, Dhaula Kuan.