Court orders private schools to refund any increase in fees since Sep 20, 2017

Court orders private schools to refund any increase in fees since Sep 20, 2017

Karachi (Staff Report): The Sindh High Court (SHC) has ordered private schools managements to reimburse any increased fees they may have charged from parents since Sep 20, 2017.

A three-member bench of the SHC headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi restored the fee structure in place on September 20, 2017. Non compliance with the order will lead to contempt of court proceedings, the court warned.

The bench, which has been hearing a case regarding more than five per cent increases in tuition fees by private schools and institutions, said that private schools have till the next hearing to abide by its orders.

Justice Abbasi asked private schools if they had charged a higher fees than the amount they were charging on Sep 20, 2017, adding that if they had it was to their benefit to adjust it.

The court also ordered private schools' management to submit any financial details they had previously submitted to the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

Earlier, the petitioners had stated that their children were studying at the private schools located in different areas of Karachi, adding that the schools had raised the fees by 12 to 60 percent imposing a burden on the parents.

The additional advocate general of Sindh submitted that private schools are not allowed to increase fees by more than five percent.

The private schools’ counsel, however, urged the court to adjourn the case as they had challenged the relevant rules in the Supreme Court. He also asked the court to strike down the rules which restrain the private schools from raising fees up to five percent.

The high court, in its verdict, remarked that private schools have no authority to raise the tuition fee by more than 5 percent.