SRINAGAR: Some private schools in Jammu and Kashmir breached the mandate of the judgments of the Supreme Court and High Court by fixing the fee structure on their own, the Committee for Fixation and Regulation of Fee of Private Schools (FFRC) has said.
“In view of the law laid by the Supreme Court and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and in view of the mandate contained in the Act of 2002, Draft Rules and Rules of 2022, it was duty of each private educational institution or school to submit its proposed fee structure along with the record to FFRC,” said FFRC in a communiqué.
“In most cases, in which the fee regulation order of FFRC has been stayed, as already stated, had approached FFRC for the first time. In these schools, in view of non-submission of proposed fee structure and record to FFRC previously, the fee was not determined and regulated by FFRC in respect of previous academic sessions,” it said.
According to the communiqué, ‘in violation of judgments of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and mandate of the law, such schools have fixed the fee structure themselves’.
“The act of such school managements is per se illegal and void ab-initio, as fee structure has been fixed in breach of the mandate of the judgments of the Supreme Court and High Court and the statute occupying the field,” the FFRC said.
It also said that such fee structures cannot be recognised in law. The question of public and legal importance arises when the Court stays the fee regulation order of FFRC, can a school be permitted to charge and collect the fee which it has fixed itself and which in view of the mandate of the judgments of the Supreme Court and High Court and statute, is impermissible? Can such schools charge and collect such fees from the students?
FFRC said, “The answer in law is that such types of schools have no authority in law to charge and collect fees fixed by themselves. Such schools shall have to request the High Court to decide their writ petitions or seek clarification from the High Court about the fee which in law they are entitled to charge and collect from students.”
“In the other type of schools, fee structure has been earlier regulated by the FFRC, and who not being satisfied with the latest fee regulation order of FFRC, challenged same in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and wherein the fee regulation orders of the FFRC have been kept in abeyance,” reads the communiqué.
The FFRC, however, said that such type of school managements in law would be authorized to charge and collect only that fee from the student which was earlier regulated by the FFRC. “Such types of schools cannot fix the fee themselves and charge and collect the same from students.”
“Keeping in abeyance of fee regulation order of FFRC by, the High Court would not and shall not authorize school managements to fix fee structure at their sweet will and charge same from students, same being not permitted by the Supreme Court and Hon’ble the High Court and the statutes occupying the field,” it reads.
It added that in such type of cases, the High Court has only kept in abeyance, stayed fee regulation orders, and has not authorized school managements to fix fees of any type themselves.”
“All the private school managements falling in this category shall have to follow the mandate of law and charge and collect fees accordingly. In view of legal position, they, in no circumstances, can fix fees themselves and charge and collect it from the students,” it reads—(KNO)