Parents of nearly 150 students studying in various branches of Delhi Public School (DPS) have approached the Delhi High Court against the increase in annual and tuition fees in alleged contravention of AAP government orders.
The application has been moved by the parents seeking to intervene in a plea filed by DPS Society against the Delhi government's orders of April 18 -- which directed all the private unaided schools not to charge a fee, except tuition fees from the parents during the lockdown period -- and August 28 -- which directed them to refund or adjust the amounts other than the tuition fees charged by them.
The DPS Society has also challenged the Delhi government's September 1 notice threatening to take punitive action against it for charging annual and operational charges along with tuition fees from August and directing it to comply with the August 28 order.
The institution, in its petition, has contended that it complied with the April 18 order till July, but thereafter, it was compelled to charge operational and annual charges from August as a "huge gap had arisen between the amount collected from students as tuition fees and the establishment expenses incurred by the school on account of salary, provident fund of the staff, internet charges."
The DPS Society further claimed that it had incurred losses that were pushing it towards shutting down the schools and that is why it decided to charge the operational and annual charges along with tuition fees.
It had also said in its plea that announcing of the 'unlock' phases by the Centre, restrictions have been relaxed and most businesses and professional activities have become operational and therefore, the parents are gainfully employed and in a position to pay the school fees, including annual and operational charges.
The application, filed through advocate Kushal Kumar, has contended that the DPS society in September decided to defer the emoluments of staff members by 20 percent for the year 2020-21.
"The petitioner (DPS Society) has directed its schools to withhold the requisite amounts for the next seven months. Further, the petitioner has also decided not to pay the medical allowance to the employees," the application has claimed and added that in such a situation the rationale behind increasing the tuition fees, or levying other forms of fees under various heads was not justified.
The application on behalf of the parents has also claimed that according to the bye-laws of the DPS Society, its schools have to maintain a reserve fund.
The society's schools maintain two kinds of reserve funds -- reserve fund according to CBSE guidelines and a contingency fund.
"It is further respectfully submitted that reserve fund and contingency fund are kept and maintained from the fees of the parents and these funds are maintained only to meet the exigencies of time, like the present pandemic," the application, also filed through advocates R K Singh and Akash Deep Gupta, said.