New Delhi, July 10:  The Delhi High Court has said private schools can preclude students from attending online classes if their parents do not pay fees and fail to establish that they are in financial crisis due to the Covid pandemic.

In a three-page order, a single-judge bench of Justice Jayant Nath Wednesday partially read down Delhi government’s circular that restrained schools from denying password and access to online classes to students whose fees had not been deposited, The Print reported.

Issued on 18 April, the government circular had also stated that schools will only charge the tuition component of the fee.

The court order came on a plea filed by the Queen Mary School Northend, which blamed the circular for 40 per cent of its students not paying fees.

It said the parents took “unfair advantage” of the government order and have refused to deposit the money. The school has challenged the validity of the government order itself.

The bench, however, did not give a final opinion on the circular but issued an interim order.

“Where the parents are unable to satisfy/demonstrate to the petitioner regarding their financial difficulties, the petitioner is free to communicate the same to the parents and decline to provide them ID and password for online education facility for the students,” the bench said. It will hear the matter again on 5 August.

The bench, however, clarified that parents are free to approach the appropriate authority under the Delhi government against the school order.

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