Published: 01st November 2019
Odisha parents' association calls CBSE's exam fee hike 'unconstitutional'; files PIL in High Court
While the examination fee was hiked from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 for General category students, it was increased from Rs 50 to Rs 1,200 for SC and ST students. Migration Certificate fee was fixed at Rs 35
The Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE)'s decision to increase Class X and Class XII examination fees has been challenged in the Orissa High Court.
A PIL filed by the chairman of the state-level parents' organisation Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangha (OAM) Basudev Bhatta has sought to quash the changes brought by CBSE, New Delhi, to the examination fee structure for students in August this year.
Advocate Amar Patnaik, politician and a member of the Biju Janata Dal, filed the petition on behalf of OAM on Tuesday. The petition contended that the hike in examination fee structure warrants the court's intervention 'in the larger interest of the students' as it is 'illegal and arbitrary'.
The petition was filed after representations to the Union Minister for Human Resources Development and Chairman of CBSE did not yield any result despite requests by the Governor and Chief Minister of Odisha to CBSE to reconsider their decision in the interest of the people.
The petition alleged that great hardship has been caused as a result of the examination fee hike to the students of affiliated schools of CBSE and particularly to students of reserved categories in arranging the necessary funds to take the Class X and XII board examinations.
"The hike in examination fees structure would directly affect the basic education of the underprivileged students who would be deprived of their education due to lack of adequate financial resources. Thus, the act of the State who is obligated to provide free and compulsory education to the students within the age group of 6 to 14 has ex-facie failed to discharge its statutory duties," the petition alleged.
The petitioner further alleged that the hike in examination fee structure by CBSE 'is in utter disregard to the Indian Constitution's Directive Principles of State Policy that the State shall promote the educational and economic interests of SC, ST and other weaker sections with special care under Article 46'.
As many as 20,299 schools of the country are affiliated to CBSE.