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SHC bars private schools from charging more than one month fee

By Our Correspondent
April 09, 2019

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday took an exception to private schools management for charging more than one month tuition fees from students. The court restrained private schools from charging more than one month tuition fees from students and directed private schools to issue revised tuition fees challans within one week.

The court directed director general private schools to implement the court orders with regard to the refund of excess tuition fees to parents and submit compliance report.

The high court was hearing a contempt of court application filed by parents against the non-implementation of the court order that declared enhancement of tuition fees by private educational institutions over 5 per cent from their last fee schedule as illegal.

Petitioner Bushra Jabeen and others had filed the contempt application against private schools, 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 5 per cent in tuition fees by the 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 enhanced fees challans and the education department had failed to implement the court decision. They submitted that some private schools were sending three months tuition fees challans to students despite clear directions of the court that more than one month tuition fees challan will not be issued to students. They requested the SHC to take action against the administration of private schools, which were not following the court orders and direct the education department to ensure implementation of the court directives in letter and spirit.

An SHC’s full bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, observed that it's seems that private schools adminstration s are one step ahead with income tax department. The court inquired private school counsel as what was justification for charging more than one month tuition fees despite academic session in some schools will end in May. The court directed the private schools adminstration to issue revised fees challans by April 15 and submit compliance report on next date of hearing.

It is pertinent to mention that 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 more than 5 per cent did not suffer from any constitutional defect or legal infirmity and the same are intra vires to the constitution and the law.