‘Revealing income doesn’t invade privacy of schools’
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.