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November 29, 2020

Private schools DG put on notice on contempt plea for not implementing fee concession law

Karachi

November 29, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued a notice to the director general (DG) of the Directorate of Inspection and Registration of Private Schools (Dirpis) and others on a contempt-of-court application seeking action against alleged contemnors for not complying with the court directives regarding the implementation of the law pertaining to 20 per cent fee concession to the students during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The applicants, Rasheed A Razvi Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights and others, had submitted in the application that the SHC on August 11 had directed the Dirpis DG to implement the provincial law pertaining to the 20 per cent fee concession to the students during the Covid-19 pandemic and take action against the private schools not implementing the law.

The applicant’s counsel submitted that the alleged contemnors had not been complying with the court directives despite the lapse of three months, and sought action against them.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar issued notices to the alleged contemnors and called their comments on the petition.

The petitioners had sought the enforcement of different sections of the Sindh Covid-19 Emergency Relief Ordinance 2020 whereby some relaxations and concessions were allowed to the students of different educational institutions in Sindh during the pandemic.

The petitioners had submitted in the petition that despite clear provisions in the ordinance, various educational institutions were not implementing the law and charging 100 per cent fee from their students in violation of the beneficial provisions contained in the law.

The petitioners’ counsel had argued that despite a clear order passed by the court in presence of the advocate general, various educational institutions were still violating the ordinance and not implementing the law in letter and spirit.

The private schools DG undertook that necessary action shall be taken across the board. He had assured that he would strictly implement the law and take action against the violations.

A provincial law officer had submitted that the petition had been filed for the proper implementation of the law, and hence he had no objection if the petition was allowed. He further stated that the Sindh Covid-19 Emergency Relief Ordinance, 2020, had become an Act, which would be notified in official gazette.

The court had by consent disposed of the petition with direction to the Dirpis DG to implement the law in all the educational institutions in Sindh and submit the first compliance report within 20 days.

The high court observed that although it was the responsibility of the Dirpis DG, being the competent authority, to implement the law, however, the parents may also lodge their individual complaints to the DG’s office so that the officer could take action strictly in accordance with the law.