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Saturday, 5 December 2020

High Court warns of stay if UT’s explanation unsatisfactory

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 4

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today made it clear that future admissions in the EWS category for the next academic session would be stayed in case a satisfactory explanation for the "figure of Rs29 lakh was not forthcoming". The amount pertains to reimbursement of previous dues for expenses incurred on students belonging to the EWS category.

The direction came after Justice Sudhir Mittal's Bench observed that counsel for the UT Administration and other respondents had no answer to submissions by counsel for petitioner Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on the issue of reimbursement.

The Bench was told by the UT and other respondents that petitioner Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was entitled to reimbursement of Rs29 lakh against the claim of Rs2.5 crore approximately.

The respondents claimed this was because the school was not entitled to reimbursement of expenses incurred on students belonging to the EWS category admitted pursuant to the terms of their land allotment letter. As such, the petitioner was entitled to 15 per cent reimbursement against 25 per cent claim.

Appearing before the Bench through videoconferencing, senior counsel Manisha Gandhi and Viraj Gandhi on the school's behalf contended that Rs29 lakh took care of expenses incurred while admitting students at the entry level. Every year, the same number of students were admitted and promoted to the next class. As such, the strength went on increasing and the UT Administration had not taken care of expenses incurred on account of increasing strength.

"The counsel for the respondents has no answer to the aforementioned submission," Justice Mittal observed. The matter was brought to the Bench's notice after the school filed an application for restraining respondents from compelling it to admit students under the EWS category till previous dues are reimbursed.

Manisha Gandhi argued that almost Rs2.5 crore was due on account of reimbursement for admissions since 2011-12 in the EWS category. Despite specific order dated October 26, steps were not taken to pay the amount due. As such, it would be unfair to the petitioner to expect it to continue making admissions under the EWS category unless and until the past dues were reimbursed.

from The Tribune

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