The Supreme Court has said that educational institutions must reduce fees as their running costs have come down as facilities on the campus are closed.
A Bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said that the management of educational institutions must be sensitive to the problems faced by the people due to COVID-19.
“In law, the school management cannot be heard to collect fees in respect of activities and facilities which are, in fact, not provided to or availed of by its students due to circumstances beyond their control.
Demanding fees even in respect of overheads on such activities would be nothing short of indulging in profiteering and commercialisation.
It is a well-known fact and judicial notice can also be taken that due to complete lockdown, schools were not allowed to open for substantially long period during the academic year 2020-21. Resultantly, the school management must have saved overheads and recurring cost on various items such as petrol/diesel, electricity, maintenance cost, water charges, stationery charges, etc,” the court said.
The court said insisting on payments for the facilities not provided to the students would amount to profiteering.