Plea in SC seeks waiver or maximum relief in school fee for period of COVID-19 lockdown

New Delhi, Jul 2 () A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre and the states to take a decision regarding waiver or providing uniform maximum relief in school fee for the period of COVID-19 induced nationwide lockdown in the country.

The plea has alleged that private school administrations have been demanding fee and other charges without rendering any services and the authorities have not taken any action against the "illegal demands" despite protests by parents and student in various part of India.

The nationwide lockdown in India had commenced on March 25 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The petition, filed by advocate Reepak Kansal, has claimed that in order to justify collection of fee some schools have started online classes during the lockdown period "to present an excuse that they were providing education to their students." Advertisement

"Some of the educational institutions have introduced online classes which do not fall in the scope of running educational institutions. The parents may be charged for the expenses of the said online classes proportionally from the students who have given prior consent and attended online classes," the plea has claimed.

It alleged there is no clause in the admission form that in case of epidemic or nationwide lockdown, the school administration would provide online classes and charge same fee and expenses for this.

"There are several side effects and demerits of online classes which is totally different from the concept of schooling. The students have lots of problem to understand through online medium," it said.

The plea claimed that authorities have been illegally "forcing" students and their parents to pay school fee without getting services from their respective schools and this violates the fundamental rights.

The plea said that due to the pandemic and in absence of 'force majeure clause' in the admission form, the authorities have to take a decision with regard to waiver or provide uniform maximum relief in fee for the period of lockdown. ABA MNL SJK ABA RKS RKS

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