A school in Mysuru which was ordered by Permanent Lok Adalat to repay Rs 40,000 with 6% interest, from the date of the first request, to a former student, has yet to make the payment even after a year.
The Permanent Lok Adalat, presided over by Judge DR Renake, had issued the order on March 23, 2021, to the Kautilya Vidyalaya on the basis of a petition filed by T Joyce, a student, represented by her father M Thomas, a firefighter at the Fire and Rescue Service. N Thippeswamy and MS Latha were the members of Adalat.
Thomas, a resident of Sarawathipuram in the city, said he paid Rs 10,000 to the Kautilya Vidyalaya on February 25, 2017, for booking a seat in the first standard for the 2017-18 academic year.
The institution ordered him to pay a total admission fee of Rs 75,837 later. He admitted his ward into the institution by paying the first installment of admission fee of Rs 25,000 and tuition fee of Rs 13,000 on March 21, 2017.
While Joyce was attending classes, the school asked her parents to pay Rs 3,500 and another Rs 2,500 on July 21, 2017. The school authorities did not respond satisfactorily to questions regarding the payment request. So, Thomas contacted the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and gathered information about state government rules regarding admissions and other fees at unsupported private educational institutions. He realized that the Kautilya Vidyalaya had collected higher fees than allowed.
Thomas asked the school to issue a Transfer Certificate (TC) to admit Joyce to another school. When the Kautilya Vidyalaya refused to issue the TC, they approached the BEO, the DDPI as well as the DLSA. Joyce only studied at Kautilya Vidyalaya for one month and 22 days and therefore the school is only entitled to collect fees for this period and refund any excess fees collected, in accordance with the establishment of Karnataka Education (Classification, Curriculum Regulation and Prescription, etc.) Rules, 1995.
Thomas approached the DLSA for an out-of-court settlement, but the school refused to refund any amount.
So, Thomas approached Adalat on April 4, 2019, asking the school to repay Rs 40,000 with interest and the District Education Regulatory Authority (DERA) to take the necessary legal action against him. ‘school. The school did not file a statement of objections or offer to negotiate a settlement. Thus, Adalat decided to dispose of the petition under the provisions of the Legal Services Act of 1987, negotiations having failed.
Thomas said Adalat found out from the DDPI reports that the school had violated Karnataka education law and regulations.
”But he did not order the DERA to take action against the school, as it is outside his jurisdiction. The DERA can act if I request it, by paying the required court
costs. I haven’t decided yet,” he said.
“I am aware that the management of the school has changed over the past five years. But, my petition was not against a person, but against the institution. Adalat has already served two summonses to the school. But the school has yet to follow orders,” Thomas added.