SC dismisses plea seeking directions to CBSE, Delhi govt to waive exams fees for class 10, 12

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the CBSE and the Delhi government to waive examination fees for students of class 10 and 12 in the current academic year in view of the ongoing pandemic and consequent financial problems being faced by parents.

A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan dismissed the plea saying it is a government’s decision and the court can’t interfere in it.

“How can this court direct it? It’s for the government to decide. Dismiss,” the Bench said.

Advocate Ashok Aggarwal appearing for the petitioner argued that a representation has been before the Delhi government and it was rejected saying it can’t give so much money.

“CBSE has not responded. 10 per cent of students are in government schools, at least they can revert back to the old fee. They have hiked the exam fee,” Agarwal added.

An NGO Social Jurist had moved the Supreme Court and had filed an appeal before the top court against the September 28 order of the Delhi High Court asking the Delhi government and the CBSE to treat the PIL as a representation and take a decision “in accordance with law, rules, regulations and government policy applicable to the facts of the case” within three weeks.

“Due to lockdown and pandemic, the income of parents has either disappeared or has gone down to such a level that it has become difficult for them to arrange even two times meal for their families. The high court’s order has resulted into denial of relief to 30 lakh students in the country and three lakh are in Delhi alone,” the NGO stated in its appeal to the Apex Court.

“Till 2018-19 the CBSE Examination fee of students of class 10 and 12 was very nominal but in the year 2019-20 respondent CBSE increased Examination fee in manifold. In the current year 2020-21, CBSE demanded Examination fee from Rs 1500 to Rs.1800 from students of class X and Rs.1500 to Rs.2400 from class XII students depending upon the number of subjects, practical, etc,” the plea said.

In the last academic year, the Delhi government had paid examination fees to the CBSE of students of class 10 and 12, but in 2020-21, it has refused to pay citing financial crunch, it added.

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