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February 12, 2019

Contempt of court: Private schools may be closed or nationalised, says SC

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February 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday observed that the private school managements had made schools as a money-making industry and hinted at their closure or nationalisation.

Heading a bench hearing a contempt of court case against two private schools, Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that private schools could be closed or nationalised.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan censured the private school authorities and asked how they dared to term the court decision on hike in school fee “a draconian judgment”. “Your letters to parents are in contempt of court,” he said. Justice Gulzar added, “What kind of things do you write? We can close your schools and can even nationalise them. We can ask the government to handle the administrative affairs of your schools.”

The counsel for the private schools apologised to the court and assured that no such thing will happen again. At this, Justice Gulzar said, “You can submit a written apology and we will take a look. We will get an audit done to check whether you have black or white money.”

“Education has been made into a business,” he said and added, “Schools are not a money-making industry.” Justice Gulzar further said, “There’s not a drop of shame in the eyes of private school owners.”

The counsel for the private schools then told the bench that they did not intend to insult the court and had implemented the court orders and reduced fee. However, Justice Gulzar remarked, “We are aware of the kind of comments that were passed after the court order. Why don’t we deal with private schools and order the government to take charge of them. Schools are neither an industry nor a money-making sector.”

“Private school administrators ask parents questions which are unimaginable. Who are private schools administrators to ask parents where they take their children for holidays and entertainment? Those schools which charge high fee become famous,” the judge censured.

The court then adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

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