The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHE) to consider refunding examination fees collected from students as the physical examinations were not conducted. The court observed that it could be an ordeal to bear the expenditure of Rs 400-520 for families with poor financial conditions.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni asked the chairman of the MSBSHE to consider representation of Pratapsingh Chopadar, a retired principal, to refund the fees. Chopadar’s advocate Padmanabh Pise informed the HC that the retired principal had made a representation to the MSBSHE on June 22 seeking a refund. “However, he has not been given a hearing. Hence, he approached the HC through a PIL as he has no personal interest in the matter,” argued Pise.
Pointing out that the SSC board caters to all strata of the society, Pise argued that certain families may find it difficult, especially in the rural areas, to bear the examination fees of even Rs 400-520 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, additional government pleader argued that the Board had announced the results and that too requires manpower and resources.
Pise said during the examination the maximum expenditure borne is that of printing question and answer papers. “The Board has the breakup of the expenditure for conducting the examination and announcing results. It can refund the fees,” he said.
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