Can’t bar pupils from taking exam over fee non-payment: HC

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NEW DELHI: Education is an important right “encompassed under right to life” and a child cannot be made to suffer by barring him from attending school or taking examinations in the middle of an academic session on the ground of non-payment of fees, the Delhi High Court has said.

The court’s observation came on a petition by a Class X student of a private unaided school here whose name was struck off the roll due to non-payment of fees and who sought directions to be permitted to sit in the upcoming CBSE board examinations.

While taking a “compassionate and sympathetic view” of the plea, Justice Mini Pushkarna said not allowing a student to take examinations, especially board examinations, would be an infringement of his rights akin to the right to life.

The petitioner claimed he was unable to pay his school fees regularly on account of the financial losses.

The court observed that if the petitioner was unable to pay the fees, he “certainly does not have a right to continue education in the school in question” but he “cannot be tormented in this manner in the middle of the academic session”.

To balance the interest of both parties, the court said the petitioner should pay some amount towards the fees payable to the school. It directed the student to pay Rs 30,000 to the school within four weeks.