The apex court on Monday refused to stay the Delhi High Court order allowing private unaided schools to collect annual and development charges from students for the period after the lockdown ended in the national capital last year.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose did not agree with the submission of the Directorate of Education (DoE) of Delhi government that it has the power to regulate the levy of fees by private unaided schools and the high court judgement permitting such a levy of annual and development charges be stayed.

“We are not inclined to grant you the stay,” the bench told senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Delhi government, vehemently seeking the stay of the judgement saying, “lakhs and lakhs of parents will be affected. Please don’t shut us out”.

The top court, however, said although it was dismissing the appeal of the Delhi government, this would not come in the adjudication of its plea by a division bench of the high court as nothing on merits have been recorded by it.

“Considering the fact that the division bench is hearing the matter on July 12. All the contentions remain open and can be raised before the division bench and the dismissal of the petition does not reflect upon merits of the case,” the bench said.

On May 31, a single judge bench of the high court had quashed the office orders of April and August 2020 issued by DoE of the Delhi government forbidding and postponing collection of annual charges and development fees.

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