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Pvt schools to face CBI probe for charging admission fees in J&K: Fee regulator

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SRINAGAR: After receiving complaints against private schools for charging admission fees despite a ban, the fee fixation authorities for private schools in Jammu and Kashmir have decided to refer the issue to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the errant individual institutions in case they deny the charge.

If the agency proves the complaints, the schools will face de-recognition.

The office of the chairperson committee for fixation and regulation of fees of private schools (FFRC), in a circular, said that they were getting complaints that private schools were charging admission fees in violation of the statutes.

“The admission process for the new academic session has either commenced or is about to commence in private schools of UT of Jammu and Kashmir. The complaints are pouring in that the private schools are charging admission fees in violation of the statute,” said the circular by chairperson justice Sunil Hali.

“It is also alleged that the majority of schools are taking the money in cash and not providing receipts against the amount charged,” it said.

The committee for fixation and regulation fees of private school is a statutory body constituted under Section 20 A of Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act 2002 for the purposes of regulating and determining the fee in private schools in the Union territory of J&K.

Quoting Section 20E (1) of the act, the FFRC said that ‘the private schools shall not charge any fee from the students or guardians, except tuition fee, annual fee, transport fee and voluntary special purpose fee such as the picnic, tour and excursions, etc., completely voluntary in nature or any other fee as may be approved by the committee for fixation and regulation of fee of private schools after following the procedure prescribed provided that private schools shall not charge in any manner, any other fee including admission fee or any amount, by whatever name called than the fee mentioned above’.

The circular issued instructions to all private schools of J&K not to charge admission fee in violation of the statute.

“In case a complaint is proved against a private school having charged admission fee, it will be deemed to have been charged from all students admitted and action in accordance with law will be taken against the school management,” it said.

The order said that in case of denial by the school management on the pretext of lack of receipt or otherwise, the matter will be referred to CBI for conducting enquiry in the matter. “In case of adverse report from the investigation agency, action in accordance with the law will be taken against the school which may include de-recognition/dis-affiliation,” the FFRC said.

In April this year, the committee had barred the private schools of the union territory from unilaterally hiking fees as the new academic session started from March-April this year instead of November-December, 2022.–(Agencies)

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