The Gujarat High Court will consider whether sending reminders to parents for non-payment of fees constitutes an offence under Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Cruelty (physical or mental suffering) to children is penalised under the provisions of this Act.
Justice Bhargav Karia has issued notice on a Special Civil application by the Federation of Self-Financed Schools against an order issued by the Collector and District Magistrate of Surat. The order stated that harassing school students for non-payment of fees is a gross violation of Section 75 of the JJ Act.
The petitioner-schools contended that merely reminding parents about non payment of fees does not constitute an offence under Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act. It further submitted that because of the Collector’s order, any complaint filed by the parents would be registered by the police under Section 75 of the Act. It was also claimed that the Collector was acting beyond his legal authority and jurisdiction.
Finding the case prima facie in favour of schools, the High Court stayed the impugned order and issued notice to the new respondent party, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights.