Annual and development fees cannot be charged till schools reopen: HC

    A plea was moved by the parents’ association of a private school, which had started taking Annual and Development Charges along with tuition fees from July itself.

    The court, however, restrained the school from taking the Annual and Development Charges from parents for the month of July till any further orders.

    The Delhi Government and the school were also issued a notice, seeking their stand on the plea of the parents’ association.

    The court listed the further hearing of the matter on September 16, 2020.

    As per the order, during the hearing which was being taken place via video-conferencing the school authorities contended that the lockdown has ended and so could levy the Annual and Development Charges.

    However, the Delhi Government which was represented by its Additional Standing Counsel, Gautam Narayan, told the court that a circular issued by the Directorate of Education’s on April 18 asked the schools not to charge the Annual and Development fees during the lockdown period, and the same continues to apply as none of the schools have yet physically opened.

    The Delhi Government, however, stated that the said school in question cannot charge the Annual and Development Charges till the lockdown was totally completed.

    After hearing from both the parties, the opinion of the Learned Judge was that prima facie the school cannot charge the Annual and Development Charges till the pendency of the current lockdown.

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    Nevertheless, the Judge stated that the parents’ will have to pay the tuition fees.

    Thus, It was held by the Delhi High Court that Annual and Development Charges cannot be taken from the parents of students “during the pendency of the present lockdown”, when schools are yet to be reopened.