The Calcutta Supreme Court on Friday ordered that schools and other educational institutions be allowed to charge fees in accordance with their policies and agreements with the students due to the reduction of the Covid-19 pandemic and the substantial normalization of life.
The court has ruled that with effect from February 16, the previous decision allowing the withholding of 20 percent of school fees will lapse.
It also noted that the government of West Bengal has allowed physical classes even in primary and secondary schools from Wednesday.
“The schools and other educational institutions may charge fees in accordance with their policies and agreements with the students,” ordered a division bank composed of Judges IP Mukerji and Moushumi Bhattacharya.
Based on a PIL and several other related petitions involving parents of students and about 145 schools, the Supreme Court ruled on October 13, 2020 that the institutes could only charge fees for essential services provided online, with a 20% deduction.
The division bank noted that there has been a substantial reduction in the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and found that life has returned to virtually normal in all areas.
“Therefore, education in all schools and other educational institutions covered by this public interest lawsuit would be physical from now on,” the bank said.
The court ruled that in the event of any dispute between the school fees claimed and the amount claimed by a student to be paid for the period through Friday, 50 percent of the claim by the school or the amount allowed by the student, whichever is greater, payable before March 15.
The bank further determined that no coercive measures will be taken by the institutions covered by the lawsuit against a student until March 31 or further injunctions, whichever is sooner.