The Punjab government on Friday challenged the judgment of the high court relating to payment of school fees for the lockdown period.
In a letter patents appeal (LPA), the state has sought a stay on the operation of the single judge order and judgement of June 30 “in the interest of justice and fair play”.
In its ruling of June 30, a single judge of the high court had given relief to the private schools to effectively collect all types of fees irrespective of whether it offered online education or classes.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had earlier expressed concern over private schools charging fee from students even when no online or offline classes were held in the wake of the Covid-induced shutdown.
The matter had come up for discussion at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting and Advocate General Atul Nanda was asked to file the LPA in the high court.
The LPA points out that the private schools, despite pleading financial hardship and incapacity to meet their expenditures or charges, did not place on record any evidence or material to prove the same.
It was further noted that the high court, in its ruling, had completely ignored the fact that the government of Punjab had been constrained to issue orders directing private schools to charge only “tuition fee” in respect of online education provided by them in order to mitigate the emergent hardship faced by the parents due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The impugned order and judgement, according to the LPA, provides no mechanism to check and verify the “actual expenditure” while allowing the schools to charge their “actual expenditures.”
Thus, there are practical difficulties in the enforceability and implementation of the impugned order and judgment, it said.