Schools can't charge more than 5 paise fine a day on late fee payment: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has directed the city government to pass an order, apprising schools and public that as per rules, a school cannot charge more than five paise per day as fine on late deposit of fees.

Asking the Directorate of Education (DOE) to pass a speaking order publicising the little-known rule within four weeks, a bench of Justice G S Sistani also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on the department for not issuing it despite his repeated directions.

In February 2010, the high court had directed the DOE to properly re-examine whether the unaided schools are bound by Delhi School Education Rule 166 which does not permit a school to charge late fee deposit fine more than five paise per day and pass an order.

The single judge was hearing a private school's plea challenging the government's stand in a petition filed by a parents alleging that the school has violated the rules by charging more than the limit stipulated by the rules.

On April 23,2010, the DOE had filed an affidavit in the Court stating, "It is humbly submitted that Rule 166 of Delhi School Education Act and Rules 1973 is applicable to recognised unaided schools, thus, the unaided institutions including this public school is bound by rule 166 of the Delhi School Education Act & Rules 1973."

Opposing the government's stand, the school said the rule is not applicable on the private unaided schools.

The court, however, declined to accept the school's stand and disposed of the plea with a direction to the department to pass an order clarifying that the rule is applicable to all the schools.

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