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May 25, 2018

Non-compliance of court orders on fees: PHC seeks explanation from SBP for not freezing private schools’ accounts

National

May 25, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday directed the State Bank of Pakistan to submit reply till June 21 as to why the accounts of private educational institutions were not frozen as recommended by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Private Schools Regulatory Authority for not complying with the court orders on decrease in fee charges under various heads.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan issued the notice after the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Private Schools Regulatory Authority (KPPSRA) Managing Director Syed Zafar Ali Shah informed the bench that accounts of private educational institutions which had violated the court decision and authority’s notification on decrease in fee charges, had been forwarded to the State Bank of Pakistan for freezing but no response had been received yet.

On previous hearing, the court had directed the KPPSRA to takeover administration of private schools and colleges and take hold of their accounts if they went on a strike against the implementation of the court decision restraining them from charging high fees from students.

The bench explained that the court would then order the banks to comply with the accounts seizure direction and the KPPSRA would run the educational institutions till the next order of the court.

The bench issued direction to both the provincial and district governments and relevant station house officers to assist the KPPSRA in implementation of the court’s decision that restrained the private educational institutions from charging high and extra fees from students.

During hearing of the contempt of court petition, Abbas Khan Sangeen submitted that the lawyers want implementation of the court judgment as private educational institutions had charged promotional and annual fee from the parents. He said the schools were also charging extra fee under the head of various activities in violation of the court’s decision.

KPPSRA MD Syed Zafar Ali Shah said the authority notified that payment of school transport fees during vacations would be prohibited. He said the payment of advance fees in connection with summer vacations would be banned as well.

He said schools would be allowed to charge 50 percent fees for summer vacations to pay staff and clear other dues. He added that the schools would charge admission fees once only.

The petitioners pointed out that four months had passed since the court gave its verdict and now the educational institutions were openly violating the decision on fee in the admissions for academic year 2018-19.

The court was requested to direct the private schools to follow the guidelines mentioned in the judgment for the schools and refrain from demanding high fee, including promotion fee, security fee, examination fee, canteen fee, sibling fee and management charges.