PIL seeks waiver of tuition, bus fee for students for the closure period since August 2019
HC directs UT admin to file response
Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed the Union Territory administration to file its response in a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking waiver of tuition and bus fee for students for the closure period since August 2019, when the partial autonomy of the erstwhile state was revoked.
Chief Justice Pankaj MIithal and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi directed the additional advocate general (AAG) of the UT to file response on behalf of the directorate of School Education and other agencies within a month.
In 2019 the then AAG Shah Aamir was granted two months time to file response to the petition but till date no response has been filed.
The petition filed by one Sheikh Umar Farooq is for the implementation of the Right to Education Act in letter and spirit. It seeks a court direction that no tuition, bus or any other incidental fee be charged by any educational institute for the period August, 2019 till the resumption of the normal schooling.
In November 2019 the Court had issued notices to the official respondents.
“Due to the unprecedented situation in Jammu and Kashmir post July 2019, private schools remained non-functional due to one reason or another. Most of the schools in J&K have started pressurizing parents to pay full monthly payments, including tuition fees, bus fee and other incidental charges,” the PIL stated.
It said that none of the required facilities were utilized by school children, the parents were being told to pay the tuition fee. This despite the fact that their children were not taught by teachers during the period these remained closed,” the PIL added.
It prayed that the court direct the respondents, including the Chief Secretary, UT of J&K, Commissioner Secretary, Education Department, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir and the Director, School Education, Kashmir, to ensure that no tuition fee, bus fee or any other incidental fee is charged from the students by any educational institutions in J&K from August 2019 onwards till normal class work resumes.