–Top court says fee should be increased on recommendations of regulatory authority
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the private schools could not increase their fees by more than five per cent without prior approval from a regulatory authority.
A three-member bench of the court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa heard the case pertaining to the schools’ fees and adjourned the case till Thursday.
The bench remarked that the school owners earned high profits according to an audit reports and that they have been increasing their fees on their own since 1986.
Private schools counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan said that inflation rate was at the highest and asked in these conditions whether it would be corrected to ban schools from increase in fees.
The chief justice responded that at one side inflation rate raised while on the other hand income of parents was not increased and a free-flowing increase would mean over-burdening parents.
Justice Ijaz remarked the court would not allow schools to become “profit earning” factories and said the government had allowed only five per cent increase in fees.
He remarked that in Sindh the schools could increase fees after three years, suggesting the matter of fee could be reconsidered at the time of licence validation.
During the proceedings, Justice Ijaz remarked that the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict was full of contradictions.
He observed that the LHC order at one time stated that schools could increase fees while in another statement stated that schools could not increase the fees.
The chief justice then remarked that finally the high court declared that the schools could not increase fees. He suggested that schools could only increase more than five percent fees at the time of licence renewal.
Makhdoom Ali Khan counsel for private schools said that the prices of gas would be increased by 80 per cent till 2020. Justice Ijaz remarked that the schools could not increase fee by 80 per cent if prices of gas increased.