HC declines to stamp govt order on fee panel

Asks it to disclose terms and condition on appointment of Justice Imtiyaz by Monday
Srinagar: The high court denied on Thursday its “stamp of approval” to the government order announcing appointment of Justice (Rtd) Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain as chairman of a panel that would decide fee structure for private schools in the state.
Hearing a contempt petition, a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi took exception to the clause in the government order, which says that the terms and condition of Justice Imtiaz’s engagement will be notified separately.
“We cannot give our seal of approval as terms and conditions of his appointment have not been stated,” the court said after perusal of the order produced before it by Additional Advocate General SA Naik.
“You have to show that his lordship (Justice Imtiyaz) has given written consent for heading the panel as well as you should disclose terms and conditions of his engagement,” the court added.
In reply, Naik submitted that the government passed the order only after consent from Justice Imtiyaz.
However, the court insisted that government has to show the written consent and disclose the terms and conditions. The court posted the case on Monday as Naik submitted that the terms and condition will be notified within next few days.
On June 1, the division bench had directed the government to nominate a former judge of the J&K high court as chairman of the aborted committee set up in 2013 to fix fee structure of private schools in the state.
The committee couldn’t take off because on 11 October 2013, the high court, hearing a petition by unaided private schools, stayed the government order, which had announced its constitution with justice (retired) Bilal Nazki as its chairman.
Subsequently, justice Nazki resigned and later moved to Bihar to head its State Human Rights Commission in March last year and the panel remained in limbo before the court dismissed a petition filed by Unaided Private Schools’ Coordination Committee, which had challenged the formation of the fee-fixing panel.