Kolkata: The Calcutta High court on Tuesday (October 13) ordered all private schools to reduce their school fees by 20 percent. The court's order will be binding for all non-government aided schools in the state and the order comes into effect for the 2019-20 session for school fees for students. 

Guardians of students of the private schools had moved petitions seeking reduction in school fees since only online classes are being held during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

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Directing that there will be no increase in fees during the financial year 2020-21, the court ordered that from April, 2020 till the month following the one in which the schools reopen in the physical mode, all 145 schools will offer a minimum of 20 per cent reduction of fees across the board.

A three-member committee has been formed to look into grievances related to school fees and if schools do not grant relief as per the special appeals by the guardians. 

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The lawyer appearing for the case argued that there should be no salary hike for school staff and teachers.

The court has also said that no school can deny access to online education due to the issue of fees, which has led to protests in some schools across the state. 

Parents had argued that since students were not attending school, full fees should not be charged, while schools argued that they needed to pay their staff which led parents to ultimately approach the court.