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April 16, 2019

SHC orders private schools not to charge more than one month’s tuition fee

National

April 16, 2019

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the managements of private schools on Monday not to charge more than one month’s tuition fee from students. The court also directed parents to pay the tuition fee challans that were issued as per 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 per cent from their last fee schedule.

Petitioner Bushra Jabeen and others have 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 per cent 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 enhanced fee challans and the education department had failed to implement the court decision. They submitted that some private schools were sending three months’ tuition fee challans to the students despite clear directions of the court that more than one month’s tuition fee challans would not be issued to students.

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 counsel of the private schools said that parents were not paying the tuition fees under the garb of calculation, resulting in financial problems for schools. He said that revised fees challans had been issued in compliance with the court directions. He requested the court to direct the parents to pay the tuition fees.

An SHC’s full bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, directed parents to pay the tuition fees as per the revised challan issued under the court directives. The court directed the private schools' administration not to charge more than one month fees and return the advance fees of more than one month.

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 five per cent, did not suffer from any constitutional defect or legal infirmity and the same are intra vires to the Constitution and law.

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