Private unaided schools on land alloted by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) have to take prior government sanction before hiking fees, the Delhi High Court held on Tuesday, stating that "schools cannot indulge in profiteering and commercialization" of education.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath directed the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) to ensure compliance of terms in a the letter of allotment regarding increase of fees by recognised private unaided schools on land allotted by the DDA.

It directed Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to take appropriate steps in accordance with the law against those private schools which violate the stipulation regarding fee hike in the letter of allotment.

"It is clear that schools cannot indulge in profiteering and commercialisation of school education…Quantum of fees to be charged by unaided schools is subject to regulation by DoE in terms of power conferred under Delhi Schools Education Act of 1973 and it is competent to interfere if fee hike by a particular school is found to be excessive and perceived as indulging in profiteering.

"…In light of Supreme Court judgement in Modern School vs Union of India, they (private schools) are bound to comply with stipulation in the letter of allotment," the bench said in its 16-page verdict.

It also asked the DoE "to ensure compliance of the terms in the letter of allotment regarding increase of fees by recognised private unaided schools which are alloted land by the DDA."

The judgment came on a PIL filed by advocate Khagesh Jha for an NGO, Justice for all, which had sought that recognised private unaided schools on land allotted by the DDA be directed to abide by the stipulation in the letter of allotment to take prior sanction of DoE before hiking their fees.