The Supreme Court ordered on Thursday a 20% reduction in fees of private schools that had been increasing their fees by more than the allowed 8%. Some schools were increasing their fees by 20 to 25%, the court was told.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar also said that any schools that try to shut down to protest this decision will have action taken against them. Contempt of court notices could be issued to the schools hoping to boycott this decision.
The schools have been instructed to give back the half fees they charge during the summer vacations or adjust them in the students’ monthly payments.
The court said a rise of 5% per year is fine, however, any more will have to be justified and approved by the provincial regulatory authority. The maximum increase can only be 8%.
During the hearing, the top judge was told by the secretary of the law commission that today these schools are charging 1.5 times the fees they were charging five years ago.
The court has directed the FBR to check the tax records of 21 major private schools over the past seven years. The FIA has been directed to take their records — computers, log books and ledgers — into custody.
Justice Nisar said the schools will not shut down due to a 20% reduction in fees.
The next hearing will be held on December 26.