Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday ordered the state government to either reconstitute or extend the term of the committee that was tasked with fixing the fee structure in private schools, within two weeks. The court asked for a compliance report on the next date of hearing.
Senior advocate Sunil Sethi, representing Tyndale-Biscoe & Mallinson School, told the court that the committee constituted for the purpose is no longer in a position to do so because the term of its chairman has expired.
Sethi also told the court that the state government may frame a policy of increasing the fee by a certain percentage on an annual basis. If any school required enhancement of fee more than the prescribed rate, then the committee would consider it on a case to case basis, he said.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice MK Hanjura directed the state government to take the issue of children’s education seriously and to reconstitute or extend the term of the committee.
In 2015, the government had appointed Justice (Retd) Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain as chairman of the committee tasked with regulating the fee structure of private educational institutions in the state.
“It is well settled now, as has been laid down by the Supreme Court of India, that commercialisation and exploitation is not permissible in the education Sector,” Justice (Retd) Hussain had said soon after assuming charge.
The committee was actually formed in 2013 after the government appointed retired Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, Justice Bilal Nazki, as its chairman. Nazki had resigned, and Justice Hussain was appointed in his place.