|Early times Report|
Jammu, Mar 21: In a significant order of public interest, the division bench of the J&K High Court vide its recent order has directed the defaulter private unaided schools of Jammu province to refund the entire fee beyond the scale, which was chargeable by these schools uptill August, 2014 in terms of the judgment and order dated 20.09.2016 passed by the Division Bench in OWP No. 910/2016. A division bench of the J&K High Court, Jammu comprises Justice Sanjeev Kumar Gupta and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur vide order dated 18.03.2019, have rejected the plea of the petitioners, namely Maharaja Harisingh Agricultural Collegiate School, Nagbani Jammu, J P World School Jammu and KC Gurukul Public schools & others. The Court held that the school shall refund the Fee along with interest @ 9% to the parents from August, 2014. The Division Bench further held and again made it clear that the Private schools would be de-recognized if there was any violation recorded in this regard. The J&K Fee Fixation Committee in its stand before the court highlighted the grave violations of the Court directions dated 20.09.2016 issued by the Division bench of the High court. The Court further set aside the plea of the petitioner schools, challenging the very jurisdiction and competence of the Fee Fixation Committee of J&K to issue notices to the schools. The Court further held that the orders of the Apex court in case titled "Islamic Academy of Education v/s State of Karnataka," (2003) 6 SCC 697applies to the entire Private unaided schools also. Rule 9 of the Jammu & Kashmir School Education Rules 2010 says that every private school shall, before the commencement of each academic session, notify, for general information, the details of its fee structure. Admission fee shall be charged only once i-e upon first enrolment of the child in the school. The Court also rejected the plea of the petitioner schools that since they are affiliated with the CBSE, New Delhi, they are not amenable to the jurisdiction of the Fee Fixation Committee.