The Supreme Court observed on Wednesday that the private schools should get approval from the regulatory authorities if they want to increase fee by more than five percent.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, heard the case relating to the schools’ fees. After a few observations and remarks, the court adjourned the hearing till Thursday.
The bench remarked that the private school owners were making high profits according to the audit reports while they have been increasing their fees since 1988.
The counsel of private schools, Makhdoom Ali Khan, said that the inflation rate was at the highest and asked if it was right to prohibit schools from increasing their fee.
The chief justice remarked that the parents’ income did not increase amid the high inflation rate and an unbridled fee hike will overburden the parents. Justice Ijaz remarked that if schools want to increase fees, they should get approval from the regulatory authorities.
Justice Ijaz remarked that the court could not allow schools to become ‘profit-earning factories’. He added that in Sindh, the schools can increase fee after three years while suggesting the fee can be reviewed at the time of license validation.
Justice Ijaz also observed that the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict was full of contradictions. He said that at one point the verdict stated that the schools could increase fees while in another statement, it stated that schools could not increase the fees.
Private schools counsel said that the prices of gas will increase by 80 percent by 2020 leading to Justice Ijaz’s remarks that schools cannot increase fee by 80 percent just because the gas prices have increased.
The counsel further said that given the whole scenario, the court should allow a reasonable increase in fees.