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SC orders private schools to increase fee using 2017 level as baseline

A three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Faisal Arab, heard the appeals filed by parents of students as well as private schools.s.

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A three-judge Supreme Court bench on Friday has ordered private schools to restore fee amount to that of January 2017. A 65-page verdict was announced on appeals pertaining to exorbitant hikes by private institutions.

The verdict says that the private schools had excessively increased fee since 2017 in violation of the law and that the charges should be restored to what they were in January 2017 and the additional amount be struck down.

“It will be deemed that there was no increase in fee since 2017 and fees were frozen at the rates prevailing in January 2017”, reads the ruling.

The verdict says that any increase in school fees must be in accordance with the laws and that any recalculation is made “using the fee prevailing in 2017 as the base fee”.

The top court has added that the recalculation method must be supervised by regulators and the amount charged must be “approved by them [and] shall be treated as the chargeable fee”.

The verdict also forbade the schools to recover “under any circumstances” the amounts that were reduced in accordance with the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling — which ordered a 20 percent reduction in the fees charged by upscale private schools.

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“The regulators shall closely monitor the fee being charged by private schools to ensure strict compliance with the law and the rules/regulations. Complaint cells shall be set up to deal with complaints arising out of the increase in fee in violation of the law/rules/regulations”, reads the SC verdict

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