Charge excessive transport fee in violation to prescribed fee: FFRC
SRINAGAR, APRIL 28 – The Government Fee Fixation Committee for Private Schools (FFRC) Friday said that Presentation Convent Higher Secondary School Rajbagh was violating its orders by charging excessive transportation fee from the the students.
In this regard, the Chairperson of the committee, Justice (Retd) Sunil Hali has given one last opportunity to the school to appear before FFRC to explain their position by or before May-02.
Hali in an communique to the school has said that in pursuance to the complaint filed by the parent, notices were issued to the School Management.
“The main grievance of the complainant was that School was charging Rs 1480 per month from the students as bus fee,” Hali said.
It also said that the committee in October-2022 after detailed discussion with the stakeholders including the school had allowed a hike of 14 percent to the schools on the fee being charged by them in October 2019.
In September-2021, the school has admitted that the school was charging Rs 1480 per month.
FFRC also said that the order was resolved in presence of complainant, Transport Service provider, Principal and Manager of the school.
“Therefore as per the order issued in October-2022 you were required to hike the bus fee by 14 percent from the amount which was being charged,” Hali said. Adding that the school could hike the fee from 1480 by 14 percent as provided by the order in October-2022.
The committee also said that a notice was issued to the school management to appear before the committee on April-26-2023 to explain their position as to why was their school charging fee over and above the prescribed fee by this committee.
It said that in reply, the school management has said they have referred to some dispute between the complainant and school which is pending in the court of law. “It has no bearing to the present context in which the notice has been issued to you.”
Hali said that the law will take its own course in case the complainant has committed any crime and it was irrelevant for the present proceedings.
He also said that the reply to the notice issued by this office is that the order issued in October-2022 relating to the fixation of Transport Charges does not apply to your school as it applies to those schools who are providing their own transport.
“Also as per your explanation you have outsourced this business to some Private transporter,” FFRC Chairperson said.
It also said that there is some misconception in understanding the charging of transport fee.
The committee under its rules has to fix, determine and regulate the fee which includes the Transport Fee also. “It is immaterial how the school provides this facility to the students whether it is school owned transport or the same is being outsourced.”
FFRC communique further reads that it is not case of Presentation Convent School that the Transport facility has been arranged by the parents with some private company then of course the school has no responsibility.
“The school is directly charging transport fee from students, therefore it is your exclusive responsibility to charge fee which is permissible under law,” it reads.
Stating the proof, FFRC said that as per receipt issued by the school it has come to fore that it was charging Rs 4900 for two months.
It also said that despite being asked to appear before the Chairperson FFRC, the school management has failed to appear and explain their position.
“The School have right to submit your version of the story. The written submission by in itself is directly in contravention of order issued in October-2022,” it reads.
FFRC Chairperson said, “You are given one last opportunity to appear before the committee to explain your position by or before May-02 at 3 pm.”
Hali said that in case, the school fails to appear then its action will tantamount to violating the orders of this committee which entails consequences provided under law which includes in first stage of imposing an fine.