The Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Tuesday, said schools were entitled to charge tuition fees despite offering only online classes amid the lockdown, but should recover only genuine expenditure incurred by them.
Restraining schools from increasing fees, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur said those who couldn't pay the fee might file an application along with necessary proof about their financial status to get concession.
"After looking into it sympathetically, schools would give concession or exempt the entire fee as the case may be," she observed while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by the Independent Schools' Association Chandigarh and others.
She also asked schools to continue to make an endeavour to impart online or distance learning to prevent education from being impacted due to "present or future lockdown".
"The management of each school shall work out their actual expenditure incurred under the annual charges for the period the school remained closed and recover only such genuine expenditure incurred by them, including actual transport charges and actual building charges, but shall not recover any charge for this period for any activity or facility towards which no expenditure was incurred," Justice Kaur said.
The schools were also restrained from increasing fees for 2020-21 and adopt the fee structure of 2019-20.
She said if a parent was aggrieved following an adverse decision by the school on his application, he could approach the regulatory body constituted under the provisions of the Punjab Regulation of Fee of Un-aided Educational Institutions Act, 2016.
"No parent shall misuse the concession by laying a false claim," she remarked.