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August 20, 2019

SHC orders action against private schools increasing tuition fee by more than 5pc

Karachi

August 20, 2019

The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the provincial education department to take action against private schools which had increased their tuition fees by more than five percent in violation of the court orders.

The high court was hearing a contempt of court application filed by parents against the non-implementation of court orders that declared illegal any increase in tuition fees by the private educational institutions by more than five percent.

Petitioner Bushra Jabeen and others had filed the contempt application against private schools, the private schools director general and others for not implementing the court orders.

The counsel for the petitioners submitted that the SHC, on September 3, 2018, had declared that any increase of more than five percent in tuition fees by private educational institutions from their last fee schedule was illegal and the excess fees charged by the private institutions should either be refunded or adjusted in the future fees.

The petitioners submitted that despite the court directives, many private schools continued issuing increased fee challans and the education department had failed to implement the court decision. They requested the SHC to take action against the administrations of private schools that were not following the court orders and direct the education department to ensure implementation of the court directives in letter and spirit.

The Sindh additional advocate general stated that notices had been issued to the private schools that had increased tuition fees by more than five percent in violation of the court orders and action would be initiated against them under the relevant laws.

A full bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, observed that private schools had to comply with the orders of the Supreme Court which decided their appeals against restrictions on more than five percent tuition fee increases.

The court directed the education department to take action against the private schools that had increased tuition fees by more than five percent in violation of the court orders and the relevant laws and refund the tuition fees in excess of more than five percent.

A full bench of the SHC had declared that the provisions of Section 6 of the Sindh Private Educational Institution Ordinance and Rule 7(3) that restricted private educational institutions from increasing their fees by more than five percent did not suffer from any constitutional defect or legal infirmity and the same are intra vires to the constitution and law. The Supreme Court had also dismissed appeals of private schools and upheld the order of the SHC.

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