Parents want Panvel school booked over an arbitrary fee hike
St Joseph's School hiked fees without the approval of the parent-teacher committee
The parents who have been waging war against a Panvel school for a year over an arbitrary fee hike have now sought permission from Deputy Director of Education BB Chavan to lodge an FIR under the Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act, 1987, and the School Fee Regulation Act, 2014, against the institution.
They had suffered a setback on July 18, after the Bombay High Court directed that only school managements can approach the divisional fee regulatory committee (DFRC) over fee hikes. The parents had sought help from the DFRC to resolve the issue.
Undeterred by the HC ruling, the parents wrote a letter to Chavan on August 1, seeking permission to lodge an FIR against the school.
"Since it's clear now that our case, which is pending before the DFRC, has no standing, we want to continue our fight under the Capitation Fee Act and Fee Regulation Act," said Ravindra Barambekar, one of the parents who signed the letter.
"It's been a year since we began seeking justice. The government should punish the errant school," said Manisha Patel, another parent.
The deputy director of education, however, is not the competent authority to take a call on the issue, and the letter has been forwarded to the principal secretary of the education department for further action.
"I do not have the authority to permit parents to lodge an FIR against the school. We require the permission of the principal secretary, who will notify an officer to conduct an investigation and penalise the school as per the law. On August 3, I wrote to the principal secretary, seeking further action," said Chavan.
School spokesperson Neti Srinivasan was not available for comment despite repeated attempts.
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