Today PIL filed before the Supreme Court, where the petition had sought directions to the HRD Ministry on the waiver of fees for primary level students and also of extra fees charged under different heads by schools. This request was from student’s parents who were under severe financial stress because of the pandemic.
Senior Counsel Pradeep Rai appeared for the petitioner. They argued that some of the schools are charging full tuition fee, transport fee, lab fee, library fee, development fee and annual fee etc., for three months in advance and many schools are charging a new fee under the head of online classes. Many schools name was given like Adarsh Bal Niketan, Maa Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Singh Public School etc. The petitioner mention that payment of fees for public and private education institutes stands due as students and parents are not in any appropriate financial condition to make such payments, because of loss of jobs during the pandemic, putting the parents under immense financial stress. Petitioner mentioned that Karnataka government as well as in the state of Madhya Pradesh banned online classes for kindergarten to class -7.
Here the top court’s bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy dismissed the PIL but granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the high courts. The plea was from the NGO Public Police. The chairman of Public Police is former Chief Justice of India and ex-chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Justice K. G. Balakrishnan. Other members include former high court judges, former senior IAS officers, former senior IPS officers and some distinguished members of civil society.