Student expelled from SoBo school, Bombay HC comes to the rescue
To ensure that a child’s right to education is not martyred in the ongoing battle between parents and school management, the Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government to provide the 12-year-old boy, expelled from a South Mumbai school, gets admission in another school in the vicinity.
Last week, a division bench of Justices VM Kanade and MS Sonak had taken cognisance of a letter written to the HC by a parent against HVB Global Academy School in Marine Lines. In the letter, the boy’s father claimed that his son was expelled from the school after he refused to pay Rs 50,000 towards the purchase of uniform and other stationary items.
The school’s counsel, however, told the court that the child was removed as his father refused to pay the school tuition fee. According to the school, in March 2015, the boy was admitted to the school with an admission fee of Rs 25000 and a tuition fee of Rs 85,000 for one term. In August when the school asked the parents to pay tuition fee for the next term, the father refused and said he had already paid the entire amount.
“Despite the dispute the school permitted the child to appear for his final exams held in February this year and passed him. After that the school issued a school leaving certificate with a remark that the fees were not paid. The fees were as per the Fee Regulation Act,” the school’s lawyer Prasad Dhakepalkar said.
Upon hearing the arguments, the HC said that it would be in the student’s best interest if he is not sent to the same school in future as a similar may come up again. “It will be in the interest of the child to be admitted to some other school in the vicinity. The child should not suffer. We want the boy to first get admitted to some other school. That is our primary concern. The larger issue of the war between the parents and school can be dealt with later. We do not want the child’s education to be martyred in the larger cause,” the high court said.
The bench directed the concerned authority to ensure that the parents provide them with details of schools in the vicinity that they are interested in and get the child admitted to one of them. It also said that the child should start attending the classes in his new school from Monday.
The court also asked the boy’s father to not ‘misbehave’ in the future with school management and principal and said, “You cannot just go and abuse principals and teachers and level allegations against them. This is not the way.”
The court posted the petition for further hearing on July 19 and said, “First let the boy get admitted to some school then we will go into the larger issue. There is a growing concern about allegations that schools are harassing children and expelling them. “We will have to evolve a mechanism to put an end to this. We may ask the government to frame guidelines.”
With agency inputs