The Delhi High Court Wednesday restrained Air Force Bal Bharti School from striking off names of 10 EWS category students of class IX for non-payment of tuition fees and other charges. Justice Rajiv Shakdher passed the interim order on a plea by the 10 students in which they said that the school was allegedly forcing them to either pay the fees or take transfer certificate. The court sought response of the school and the Delhi government on the petition and listed it for hearing on February 7 next year.
The students, in the petition filed through advocate Ashok Agarwal, claimed that the school was threatening to expel them for non-payment of tuition fees and other charges whereas they are legally entitled to continue their studies beyond class VIII and up to class XII under the economically weaker section (EWS) category.
The plea said the school is situated on government land and as per provisions of Delhi Right of Children to free and compulsory education rules 2011, private schools situated on government land are obliged to allow EWS category students to study beyond class VIII and up to class XII.
These students have completed the class VIII in the academic session 2018-19 and are now studying in class IX in the current academic session.
Most of these children are residents of Nizamuddin basti.
Children admitted under the EWS category are entitled to free education, which is to be reimbursed to the school by the state government.
The Delhi Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011, state that such schools "shall continue to fulfil their obligation for providing free education beyond elementary education and till completion of secondary/senior secondary education, as the case may be".
The students said in the plea that their parents had individually written letters to the school in May, requesting them to allow the kids to continue their studies up to class XII under the EWS category there but no response has been received from the authorities.
On August 13, the children received a "final reminder" from the school, asking them to pay the fee for two academic quarters, spanning from April to September, or else their names will be struck off from the school rolls.
The students sought a direction to restrain the school from enforcing the August 13 letters.
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