Schools can initiate action for recovery of fees from defaulting parents: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court recently clarified that it is open to school management to initiate appropriate action for recovery of the outstanding dues from parents who have defaulted payment of school fees of their wards on time (Progressive Schools Association v. State of Rajasthan).

The order was passed on October 1 by a Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar on applications filed by schools stating that the last date for paying the installments referred to in the May 2021 judgment of the top court had already expired long back and despite that there were some parents/wards who are still in arrears and have committed default.

“It is open to the School Management to initiate appropriate action for recovery of the outstanding dues/amount, if any, in accordance with law. At the same time, if the concerned parent/ward seeks some indulgence for just reasons, it will be open to the School Management to consider such request compassionately. Besides this, nothing more is required to be said,” the order said.

On May 3, the apex court had held that States cannot cite COVID-19 pandemic to impinge upon the autonomy of private unaided schools to fix and collect “just” and “permissible” school fees from parents.

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