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The Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has initiated the process of partially refunding the fees collected from students of classes 10 and 12 for board exams in February-March 2021.

The board has decided to refund the amount after board exams were cancelled this year in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Demand for return of exam fee was being made for some time now. 

"Both the SSC and HSC exams were scrapped this year due to increasing Covid-19 cases. Following the Bombay HC order, the state board has decided to refund exam fee amount to respective students," the board said in a statement.

To get the refund, the pupils are required to get themselves registered on the board's portal, where they will be provided a link, said an official from the education board.

This comes almost three months after the Bombay High Court asked the board to consider refunding the fees collected from SSC and HSC students. 

The direction came following questions raised by activists, who asked why the state board has not returned 150 crore charged from nearly 34 lakh students when board exams across states and education boards were cancelled.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court in August rejected the plea filed by the parents who were asking the state board authorities to refund the examination fees of the students.

A bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari said that they did not see any merit in the argument put up by the parents and supported the arguments put up by the boards. 

The court said that the board had already made the preparations to conduct the board exams, but the second wave of Covid-19 caused a lot of disruptions, due to which they had to be cancelled.

“Thus, it justifies all the expenditures made by the boards before the second wave hit," it said. 

The court then said that the return of the examination fees is not in the control or the best interest of the state boards, as they function on examination fees themselves.

 

 

 

 

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