Law Student writes to the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India, demands relief for students amid pandemic


Vanshika Tibrewal,

Legal Intern

A letter to the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India was sent recently by Mr. Anupam Prabhat Shrivastava, a law student from the Central University of South Bihar, challenging the fees demanded by the educational institutions (schools, colleges and universities both government and private which are affiliated either to the state or central University) ,also pressurising them with time limits, sending SMS, and WhatsApp messages to pay the fees without any prior official notice.As the economy is already disturbed and people are suffering and many are hardly able to find a living ,it is hard for many students to arrange high speed internet for online classes and it also requires substantial amount for internet charges. Even though the other facilities are untouched by the students , the educational institutions are demanding fees within predetermined time, and for unreasonable categories. The schools are asking fees for extra and unnecessary fields, apart from tuition fees, i.e., campus development fee, smart classes fee, sports fee, library fee, computer lab fee, language lab fee, science lab fee, etc., whereas, the colleges, and Universities are demanding campus fee, Hostel fee, amenities, internet services, field visits, mess fee, lab fee, library fee, etc., apart from just tuition fee. As per the notices from school, and university administration, those students who fail to pay the fees on time will be imposed with fine, and in some cases will also be debarred from attending their online classes, which will ultimately affect their studies and career.

Earlier, a letter previous to this was sent to the High Court of Patna, Bihar requesting to waive off the unnecessary fees of the facilities and services provided by the schools and colleges, which ultimately went unused during the pandemic lockdown period, as all the educational institutions are closed as a preventive measure in the COVID-19 outbreak. The Hon'ble High Court of Patna issued Notice to the Government of Bihar upon this issue taking cognizance of the letter. This letter was written in order to approach the Supreme Court of India, regarding the ongoing education welfare of collecting the money, by institutions affiliated to Central, and State University.

In this pandemic crisis, even the big economies are stagnant, therefore, it is quite understood that a developing countries like India will be bearing the brunt of this pandemic in many ways including an economic crisis. There are many parents who have either lost their job, or their business is falling off like never before as a result of the outbreak. Therefore, in this case, it is totally inhumane to demand fees from students, that too demanding fees of the facilities that went unused. In India , there are even many students, who belong to below poverty line level, and whose parents won’t be able to pay the fees. Those students will suffer a career loss, along with economic loss. There are many families who want their child to get educated but because of their current situation it is tough for them to do so , and the government institutions must think of the child's welfare rather than money making.

The letter also requested the court that the course of Ph.D. and M.Phil. students are extended further to 6 months. Therefore, the stipend which they are receiving should also be extended to a period of 6 months, and continue till the end.

In this pandemic, the educational institutions which builds the future of the nation, should not act like a profit making entities amid this crisis, and consider the plea and problems of their students. Therefore, the petitioner who is representing the whole student body of this country seeks the help of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, and awaits that justice will be prevailed to all those concerning this problem.


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