‘Re­veal­ing in­come doesn’t in­vade pri­vacy of schools’

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - CHANDIGARH - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ■ chandi­garh@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH: The UT ad­min­is­tra­tion has told the Pun­jab and Haryana high court that dis­clo­sure of in­come and ex­pen­di­ture of schools on their web­sites doesn’t amount to in­va­sion of their pri­vacy and would not be vi­o­la­tion of any rights guar­an­teed un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has termed these schools ‘public en­ti­ties’ as they have been es­tab­lished on gov­ern­ment land and has ar­gued that they are bound to fol­low di­rec­tions is­sued by the ad­min­is­tra­tion from time to time with re­gards to fee reg­u­la­tion.

The re­sponse was sub­mit­ted on a plea filed by a pri­vate schools’ as­so­ci­a­tion chal­leng­ing the or­der ask­ing schools to up­load bal­ance sheets on their web­sites. The In­de­pen­dent Schools’ As­so­ci­a­tion has also chal­lenged con­sti­tu­tion of the Fee Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity un­der the Pun­jab Reg­u­la­tion of Fee of Un­aided Ed­u­ca­tional In­sti­tu­tions Act, adopted by UT in 2018.

UT has rea­soned that the law was adopted with some amend­ments with an in­tent to ad­vance trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity, which are es­sen­tial fea­tures of the mech­a­nism to be pro­vided for fee reg­u­la­tion.

More­over, the law was en­acted fol­low­ing high court’s di­rec­tion to reg­u­late fee and save par­ents from whim­si­cal de­ci­sions of pri­vate schools in Pun­jab, Haryana and Chandi­garh, the ad­min­is­tra­tion told the court.

UT has ar­gued that schools were asked to up­load bal­ance sheets in con­so­nance with pro­vi­sions of the law and upon com­plaints of prof­i­teer­ing and some par­ents seek­ing waiver of fee in the wake of Covid-19 out­break.

Many of them did not up­load bal­ance sheets and did not re­spond to the show-cause no­tice served to them for fail­ing to com­ply with the or­der, the ad­min­is­tra­tion said.

But, they chose to chal­lenge it here, UT has told court de­mand­ing that pe­ti­tion be dis­missed and they be asked to ap­proach com­pe­tent au­thor­ity in UT with their griev­ance, if any. The mat­ter will be taken up on Wed­nes­day again.

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