Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC) on Monday said private schools, who have moved courts over fee regulation order and have now fixed the fee structure themselves, is illegal and void ab-initio.
Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar Chairperson FFRC said such schools which have fixed the fee structure themselves have ‘violated’ judgements of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir & Ladakh, and mandate of the law.
“In most cases, in which the fee regulation order of FFRC has been stayed, as already stated, had approached FFRC for the first time. In these schools, in view of non-submission of proposed fee structure and record to FFRC previously, the fee was not determined and regulated by FFRC in respect of previous academic sessions.
In violation of judgements of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir & Ladakh, and mandate of the law, such schools have fixed the fee structure themselves. This act of such school managements is per se illegal and void ab-initio, as fee structure has been fixed in breach of the mandate of the judgements of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and High Court and the statute occupying the field. Such fee structures cannot be recognized in law,” Chairperson FFRC said.
“The question of public and legal importance arises when Hon’ble Court stays the fee regulation order of FFRC, can a school be permitted to charge and collect the fee which it has fixed itself and which in view of the mandate of the judgements of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and High Court and statute, is impermissible? Can such schools charge and collect such fee from the students? The answer in law is that such type of schools have no authority in law to charge and collect fee fixed by themselves,” it said.
He said such type of schools will have to request the High Court to decide their writ petitions or seek clarification from the High Court about the fee which in law they are entitled to charge and collect from students.
There are other schools whose fee structure has been earlier regulated by the FFRC, and who not being satisfied with the latest fee regulation order challenged same in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir & Ladakh, and wherein the fee regulation orders of the FFRC have been kept in abeyance.
“Such type of school managements in law would be authorized to charge and collect only that fee from the students which was earlier regulated by the FFRC. Such type of schools cannot fix the fee themselves and charge and collect same from students,” the chairman FFRC said.
“Keeping in abeyance of fee regulation order of FFRC by the High Court, would not and will not authorize school managements to fix fee structure at their sweet will and charge same from students, same being not permitted by the Supreme Court and the High Court and the statutes occupying the field,” it added.
“No person can be permitted to abuse and misuse the process of Court to secure a legally impermissible benefit. Court orders protect legal rights and do not protect illegal acts. In these type of cases, the High Court has only kept in abeyance/stayed fee regulation orders, and has not authorized school managements to fix fee of any type themselves,” it said.
“All the private school managements falling in the aforementioned categories will have to follow the mandate of law and charge and collect fee accordingly. In view of legal position, they, in no circumstances, can fix fee themselves and charge and collect it from the students,” the FFRC said.