NIRMALA SOCIETY Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.) The Letters Patent Appeal No.43 of 2017 is directed against the judgement and order dated
26.12.2016 passed by the Single Bench in Special Civil Application No.6800 of 2013, whereby the
Court has disposed of the said petition by
giving certain directions in response to the
prayers contained in Paragraph No.9(B) of the
(2.) The Special Civil Application No.6800 of 2013 was filed by the six petitioners claiming to be
the parents and the representatives of the
parents of the students of Nirmala Convent
School run by the respondent No.7 Nirmala
Society (the appellant herein), a registered
Society engaged in the field of education. The
petitioners had prayed for the prayers contained
in Paragraph 9 of the petition, which read as
"9(A) Your Lordships may be pleased to issue a writ of mandamus or a writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction, directing the respondent authorities to hold that the steep hike in the fee for the academic year 2013?14 by the respondent No.7 amounts to profiteering, imposition of capitation fee and commercialization of education and further be pleased to direct the respondent authorities to take appropriate action against respondent No.7 against such steep hike in the fees, in the interest of justice and equity;
(B) Your Lordships may be pleased to issue a writ of mandamus or a writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction, directing the respondent authorities to constitute a Committee of Experts to hear and consider the grievances of the petitioners and the Committee be directed to submit an appropriate report before this Hon'ble Court for making appropriate orders thereon, in the interest of justice and equity;
(C) Your Lordships may be pleased to direct the respondent authorities to constitute a Committee consisting of Experts to consider the grievances of the petitioners and other parents against the steep hike of fees by respondent No.7 and submit an appropriate report before this Hon'ble Court, pending the admission, hearing and final disposal this petition;
(D) Your Lordships may be pleased to direct the respondent authorities and the respondent No.7 to ensure that the respondent No.7 does not take any coercive action against the students so long as they pay the fees which was paid by them in the academic year 2012?13, pending the admission, hearing and final disposal of this petition;"
(3.) The Single Bench, after hearing the parties at length and considering the material on record
passed the following order on 26.12.2016:-
"10. In view of the entire foregoing decision and looking to the facts, features and total position emerging, a case is clearly made out for granting relief of the nature prayed in paragraph 9(B) of the petition. A Committee is required to be appointed and constituted to examine the entire fee structure of the respondent No.7 and to address a solution for related issues and grievances of the petitioners.
11. Therefore, the following directions are issued.
(i) The Committee shall be headed by the Secretary, Department of Education, Government of Gujarat;
(ii) An eminent educationist of the State who shall be the co?chairperson of the Committee, to be named by the Secretary, Department of Education;
(iii) The other Members of the Committee shall be
(a) One representative of the parents?the petitioners to be named by the petitioners from amongst themselves;
(b) One representative of respondent No.7 management;
(c) One representative by the Central Board of Secondary Education to be nominated by the Board;
(d) One representative being an Officer from the Gujarat Secondary Education Board, to be named and nominated by the Chairman of the Board, of the rank of District Education Officer of the District other than Rajkot;
(iv) The Committee comprised of the above Chairperson and Members shall consider the entire issue threadbare. For the purpose, it may evolve its own procedure and may also invite suggestions from the parents of children studying in respondent No.7 school as well as persons in the field of education as may be deemed fit. The Committee may take assistance of a Chartered Accountant for examining and assessing about the accounts and accounting details of the school if deems necessary;
(v) The Committee shall examine the issue of charging of fees and the fee structure of the seventh respondent which is a private unaided school under Central Board of Secondary Education, but located and being run within the State;
(vi) The Committee shall prepare and submit its report within a period of four months, that is latest by 30th April, 2017. The findings and recommendations of the Committee shall be binding to the parties and may take effect from the Academic Year 2017?18;
(vii) Until the Committee as above decides and submits its report, there shall be no hike in fees for any standard by the seventh respondent.
At this stage, learned senior counsel Mr.Kavina with learned advocate Ms.Venu Nanavaty for respondent No.7 requested for stay of the aforesaid directions. Since the directions are to be carried out for constituting the Committee by the second respondent, it is provided that the second respondent shall not act pursuant to the directions for four weeks." ;
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