Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has approved a proposal of the Directorate of Education (DoE) to take over the management of a top private school in the national capital over alleged unjustified fee hike, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on July 28.
The matter has now been sent to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
The school management has denied all charges and said the matter is sub-judice.
The government claimed that the school repeatedly failed to comply with multiple orders of the Delhi government asking it to roll back its "unjustified fee hike".
"Considering the situation, the government has decided to take over the management of Apeejay School, Sheikh Sarai and the proposal of the directorate has been approved by CM Arvind Kejriwal. The decision has now been further sent to the LG," Sisodia said.
"We will not let any kind of injustice prevail, we are with the parents. They should be assured that we will stand with them against such injustice and not let them face any difficulties," he added.
The DoE presided over by Sisodia also "decided to issue a show-cause notice for taking over the management of Apeejay School, Sheikh Sarai."
The school management said in a statement, "All our actions and fees charged are as per the orders of the High Court of Delhi and we are shocked at the prejudicial and incorrect statements made by the Delhi government while the matter is subjudice and especially during COVID-19."
“Our parents and students will remain unaffected and we continue our excellent virtual education in partnership with them,” the school management said.
According to DoE officials, the department had conducted an inspection of the financial statement of the school for fiscal years 2012-2013 to 2018-2019.
"After a detailed inspection of the records, the department found that the total funds for the year 2018-2019 amounted to Rs 49.72 crore, of which the expenditure was estimated to be Rs 18.87 crore, implying that there was a net surplus of Rs 30.85 crore," a senior DoE official said, adding that the department then "concluded that the school had no actual need to increase the fees."
In the same regard, the directorate refused to accept the proposed fee structure of the school for academic sessions 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.
The directorate then issued notices to the school, asking its why the recognition should not be cancelled or why the government should not take over the management.
"The directorate issued several notices to the school, asking them to stop charging the increased fee and submit a reply which the school did not. The school had approached the High Court against the directorate’s order. However, the High Court endorsed the DoE's order asking the school to roll back the increased fees," the official added.