The petition by Satyam Singh Rajput, National Founder, Justice for Rights Foundation, Amit Kumar Sharma, Supreme Court Advocate, Prateek Sharma student activist, Delhi University and Diksha Dadu, a law student, also urges in that no student shall be expelled from any college or university by reason of not paying the Fees.
The petition drafted by Advocate Deeksha Singh prays for a direction to “private and public colleges including any such educational unaided institutions for providing a relief , waive off, or moratorium on academic fees for the next semester and restrict them from asking lump sum amount, and to prohibit their indulgence in inhumane activities for payment of outstanding fees after the lockdown”,
“The payment of semester (bi-annual)fees for public and private colleges stands due and students and parents are not in the appropriate financial condition to make such payments either due to loss of wages or deduction of wages and therefore to compel either students and/or parents to provide for fees for the upcoming semester would further dire their current financial situation. Moreover, the present demand by the educational institutions forces parents and students to choose between basic essential commodities required to survive the lockdown and to effectively exercise their right to uninterrupted education”, urges the plea.
“The reality also remains that many students and parents are supporting their educational endevours by educational or friendly loans, which further adds to the burden”, further avers the petition.
It is pointed out that in the wake of such financial discomfort and mental trauma, the Central and the various state governments decided to issue notifications and orders allowing the payment of fees at the discretion of the parents and declaring that the institution cannot force the same or hike the fees. However, no such order has been passed for colleges and universities.
“The right to education can only have an effective meaning if it is read as a right to continuous and uninterrupted education”, the petitioners have stressed.
It is contended that universities/colleges/schools/educational institutions have adopted a “nonchalant and non-serious approach” to the said issue and are not “providing for or effectively dealing with the said issue”, forcing the students to pay the fees, “thereby imposing financial burden and causing mental agony, and endangering the wellbeing of every student during this epidemic”.