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Noting that the matter involved substantial public interest, Justice CS Dias today also referred the matter to a two-Judge Bench.
Justice CS Dias of the Kerala High Court today restrained certain schools from levying additional fees for the conduct of virtual classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, after noting that the right to education was sacrosanct in the Constitution.
The Court took note of the heartburn projected by the parents of such students who had approached the Court after certain schools insisted on the payment of additional fees, inter alia, to facilitate the virtual classes.
While granting them interim relief in the matter, the Court emphasised,
Further, in view of the substantial public interest involved in the matter Justice Dias has referred the case for being heard by a Bench of two Judges.
While hearing the matter, the Court also expressed his anguish over a student having taken her life owing to difficulties in accessing virtual classes.
In this regard, the order states "It is disheartening to learn that a student allegedly took away her life due to lack of access to the internet for attending virtual classes."
The petitioners contended that some States and Union Territories had formulated guidelines for the conduct of online classes and ordered that students should not be denied education for want of payment of fees during the pandemic period.
The Court today proceeded to order the schools arranged "not to levy any additional fee from the children of the petitioners until further orders."
The judge, thereafter, adjourned the matter while directing the Registry to place the file before the Chief Justice for further orders.