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SC refuses to entertain plea to waive off private school fees

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition seeking a waiver of private school fees due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde refused to interfere on the issue saying that problems of each state are different and the matter should have been raised before respective High Courts.
Asking the petitioners to withdraw the plea, the bench said it was a fact-intensive situation as problems of each state are different.
“You have filed a plea for the whole country. It is a problem for us as we do not know who would take a decision for the whole country. Problems in each state are different,” the bench told the petitioner.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by parents from eight different states seeking regulatory mechanisms for school fees in private schools due to COVID-19 outbreak.
The petition, while seeking regulation of online education, said that full fees should not be charged for online classes and claimed that several schools are charging extra fees for online classes.
The petitioners led by one Sushil Sharma sought directions to the Centre and States to ensure all the private and unaided schools do not charge any fees from the students from April 1 till the commencement of physical classes, which are suspended due to the lockdown.
In the plea, the litigants also urged that the Central and state governments direct the private, unaided and aided schools to not strike out/oust students or levy any penal/surcharge on the school fees for non-payment by enrolled students on account of the country-wide lockdown.
It said that due to lockdown, parents are facing constant financial and emotional hardships and it may leave a few of them with no option but to withdraw their children or students from schools for an unforeseeable period of time.

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