- Apprentice Lawyer
- Legal Jobs
On Thursday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled that schools can collect tuition fees only if they have actually imparted education online on a regular basis during the pandemic.
The Court is hearing a clutch of appeals challenging a Single Bench Order that allowed schools to collect tuition fees irrespective whether they had offered online classes during the COVID-19 lockdown period or not.
Partially modifying the order under appeal, Justices Rajiv Sharma and Harinder Singh Sidhu emphasized that the principle of quid pro quo is applicable to the collection of school fees as well.
In the interim order issued on Thursday, the Division Bench stated:
Apart from this, the Court has directed that teachers and other staff members be remunerated as they were prior to the pandemic and the lockdown. This applied to all categories of school staff, permanent, contractual, ad hoc and temporary, the Bench clarified.
Further, the school administrations have been asked not to charge transport fees since students were not availing transport during the pandemic. The direction echoes an earlier order of the Court issued last week in a related case, which now forms part of the batch heard on October 1.
The Judges have therefore, modified its earlier June 30 order to this extent, pending the disposal of the appeals.
The Judges have instructed the school managements party to the litigation to file their balance sheets for all of the months of the lockdown and get them verified by a Chartered Accountant two weeks from the date of the order.
With a final direction to the parties to exchange their pleadings, the matter was adjourned to November 12, 2020.
Read the Order here: