Delhi High Court: Not Allowing Students To Take Board Exams On Ground Of Non Payment Of Fees Violative Of Article 21


The Delhi High Court in the case PSV v. The Indian School & Anr observed and has stated that barring a student from taking board examinations on the ground of non-payment of fees would be infringement of rights of a child as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The bench headed by Justice Justice Mini Pushkarna in the case observed that the future of child cannot be allowed to be spoiled and blemished by barring him or her from taking examinations, thus, especially at a crucial juncture of class X and XII examinations. The court stated that a child cannot be made to suffer and not be allowed to attend classes or barred from taking examinations in the middle of an academic session on the ground of nonpayment of fees. Therefore, education being the foundation which shapes the future of a child and which in turn shapes the future of the society in general. However, it has been stated by the court that a private unaided school cannot be forced to continue with a child who is unable to pay fees and the child has taken admission in the general quota and not under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) or Disadvantaged Group (DG) quota. The court observed that the rights of a child to education has to be balanced with the rights of the school under the DSER, 1973. Thus, the constitutionality and validity of Rule 35 of Delhi School Education Rules, 1973, which authorises the Head of the school to strike off the name of a student from the rolls of the school on account of non-payment of fees and the same has not been struck down by the Court law of law. The bench headed by Justice Pushkarna in the case observed and has permitted while taking a “compassionate and sympathetic view” that a class X student to take the board examination after his name was being struck off due to non-payment of fees by The Indian School. The court stated that the petitioner child does not have a right to continue education in the school if he is unable to pay the fees, the court, the court also stated that the minor cannot be tormented in the middle of an academic session. Before the court, the plea was listed on January 17 upon urgent mentioning since the practical exams for class X board examination were scheduled from January 18. The court while granting relief to the petitioner deprecated that the conduct of parents in approaching the court at the eleventh hour, even when the practical board examinations were to commence after one day. It has further been directed by the court that the school to issue the CBSE Roll Number to the petitioner to enable him to take up the Board Examinations. The court also directed the school to allow the child for attending any classes or special classes that may be held for imparting education to the children for class X board examinations. The court also considered it imperative to direct the petitioner child to pay some amount towards the fees payable to the school, in order to balance the equities. Accordingly, the court directed that since it has been expressed on behalf of the father of the petitioner that the family is undergoing financial constraints, the court directed the petitioner shall pay an amount of Rs.30,000/- to the school within a period of four weeks from today on account of the dues payable to the school towards the fees.