Calcutta HC Proposes Panel to Examine Private Schools’ Accounts
At least 112 private schools in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal have been named in the petition.
The Calcutta High Court on Monday,17 August, proposed the formation of a two-member committee headed by the vice-chancellor of Jadavpur University, Suranjan Das, to look into the accounts of private schools, following a petition seeking concession in fees in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The high court said the two-member committee will be headed by the Das if he agrees to the court's request.
A division bench comprising of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Moushumi Bhattacharya rejected a plea by the petitioner for relaxing a previous order on payment of 80 percent dues of school fees by 31 July.
The deadline for payment has been extended till the next week. Claiming that only online classes are being held by schools, reducing their expenses on several fronts, a section of parents had moved the high court, seeking curtailment of fees.
The other members of the panel will be named by the state’s Advocate-General from among recent retired heads of the West Bengal Higher Secondary Board or Secondary Board, the bench said.
The court directed that the matter will be taken up on Tuesday, 25 August, for constituting the committee and other related orders. At least 112 private schools in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal have been named in the petition.
The committee will be receiving the accounts pertaining to the income and expenditure of all the schools involved in the present proceedings within a week from Tuesday. The particulars to be furnished by the schools should include figures for the months of January to July 2020, the court said.
“Such figures will give the committee an idea as to what the normal income and expenditure of the schools ought to be, and what the income and expenditure has been after the lockdown started towards the end of March. The object of the exercise is to ascertain the variable costs involved and the extent of concession that the schools ought to pass on to the students and the parents…,” the bench said.
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