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On Saturday, the Madras High Court warned the educational institutions to haul up for the contempt of Court, who have been in violation of the Court’s earlier order and have been insisting on full payment of fees.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh issued the warning after additional government pleader V Annalakshmi made an urgent mention about the state receiving several complaints from parents that Educational Institutions were insisting on the payment of entire fees, despite the Court’s 17th July order to the contrary. She further argued that the parents are hesitant to give a written complaint fearing adverse consequences.

Taking a serious note of the issue, the court asserted “Private schools and colleges demanding payment of full annual fee from parents in violation of an earlier order by the Madras high court will face contempt of court proceedings.”

“This court is taking a very serious note of the violation brought to its notice. Based on the oral complaint, the education department shall conduct an immediate inquiry and if it is found that the institutions are collecting fees in violation of the interim orders passed by this court, immediate action shall be taken against them,” added the Madras HC.

Earlier on July 17, with a view to balancing the interests of educational institutions in paying their staff and that of the students and parents amid the COVID-19 crisis, the HC had passed an interim order directing that educational institutions can only collect 40% of tuition fees from students for the time being, while the schools remain closed. Further, 35% of the tuition fee could be collected two months after schools physically reopened, once the COVID-19 pandemic situation had improved.

However, on Friday, the Court was told that there were institutions demanding the payment of fees in violation of this order. Considering the submissions made by the additional government pleader, the Judge directed authorities to conduct an inquiry in the matter and file a report by August 17.

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