Published: 13th July 2019
No school can expel child for short payment of fees or parents' misbehaviour: Karnataka HC
The court also made it clear that the parents of the students should not indulge in any derogatory act to bring down the morale of the staff
The High Court has said that no school can expel a child for short payment of fees or misbehaviour by parents by issuing Transfer Certificates (TCs) without the request of parents.
Hearing petitions filed by students, aged between 4 and 13 years and their parents, filed against the issuance of TCs by the Vyasa International School at Doddabommasandra, Justice S Sujatha said autonomy shall not confer any unbridled power to expel the children pursuing elementary education by issuing TCs without the request of the parents.
"Section 16 of the RTE Act statutorily prohibits the school to expel children till the completion of elementary education. Hence, the action of the school in issuing TCs suo moto cannot be held to be justifiable. At the same time, the conduct of the respective fathers of the petitioners, more particularly one J B Padamkumar of a petitioner-student, cannot be appreciated in the circumstances of the case," the court said.
"Instead of resolving the dispute amicably in the interest of children, the parents are making allegations and counter-allegations creating a volatile atmosphere which is hampering the smooth functioning of the school in imparting education. In the process, young minds will be disturbed. The mental trauma caused to these children will certainly have an impact in the long run", the court said.
Noting that issue of TCs to the petitioners-students by Vyasa International School without the request of their parents are held to be unsustainable, the court said the school should admit the students to their respective classes subject to their respective parents paying 75 per cent of the total fees relating to the academic year 2018-19 and 75 per cent of the first installment of the fees for the present academic year within seven days from July 10.
The court also made it clear that the parents of the students should not indulge in any derogatory act to bring down the morale of the staff and disturb the conducive atmosphere of the school. It is needless to observe that the payment of fees shall be subject to the result of the writ petition pending before the court, it said.
The counsel of the students contended that the respective parents of the petitioners were regularly paying the fees ever since their admission but the school expelled them as the parents have raised their voice against the exorbitant fees demanded for the academic year 2018-2019 and the lack of facilities/amenities given in the school. The said issue is now pending before the court.
In counter, the counsel of the school argued the parents of the petitioners have defaulted in paying the fees relating to the academic year 2018-2019 which was due on December 2018. Similarly, fees for the academic year 2019-2020, which was due on May 2019, has not been paid. The father of a student has threatened, harassed and intimidated the staff of the school and behaved in an unruly manner with the principal and staff of the school. To take action against the errant parents and restore the conducive atmosphere in the school, the school managing committee has resolved to issue TCs on June 23, 2019, the counsel argued.