KARACHI: The Sindh High Court restricted private schools’ administrations on Tuesday from taking any action against students while hearing the plea against private schools charging excessive tuition fees. A two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Agha Faisal extended the stay order pertaining to tuition fees till December 10.
The petitioners’ lawyers argued that the school administrations were mistreating the students. They have been excluded from sports and other extra-curricular activities and contempt of court plea will be submitted against the school administrations.
The counsel representing the school administrations maintained that no student had been treated badly. “How will the schools pay their teachers if they aren’t paid the tuition fees?” he asked.
The private schools’ director said that they were trying to implement the Supreme Court’s orders.
The bench remarked that the schools should not exclude students from sports and other extra-curricular activities due to the issue of tuition fees. The court restricted the schools from taking action against students, extended the stay order and sought the details of the fee structures from the schools’ administration, private schools’ director and parents.
Meanwhile, a two-member bench comprising Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Kausar Sultana deferred the hearing of the case pertaining to the occupation of land owned by former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Nabeel Gabol for four weeks at the request of the lawyers.
The counsel representing the University of Karachi (KU) – which has been accused of occupying the land – submitted a reply which stated that the land was allotted to KU in 1954 by the then Karachi chief commissioner. According to the varsity’s reply, the verification of land was done in 2009 by the relevant authorities.
Gabol’s counsel argued that the KU administration had not been clear in its reply as to whether the land was currently in the petitioner’s possession.
The additional advocate-general requested the court to adjourn the hearing as the replies of the land utilisation department and other agencies had not been submitted as yet. He requested that the hearing be adjourned until their replies were received.
The court adjourned the hearing for four weeks.
Gabol filed a plea against KU with the allegation that the varsity had occupied land owned by him. The plea stated that KU had occupied four acres of land owned by his mother and the varsity was not vacating the land despite repeated requests. The plea stated that the ownership of the land fell in his possession after the death of his mother.
Another two-member bench comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi rejected the appeal of three convicted in a kidnapping case. The bench remarked that the crime committed by the convicts, Sohail, Jamshed and Pir Muhammad, was unpardonable and the court could not annul the sentence awarded to them.
An anti-terrorism court had sentenced the convicts to life imprisonment after finding them guilty of kidnapping a citizen named Ayaz in 2013 and demanding Rs2 million from his father in ransom. The accused were caught red-handed while collecting the ransom money.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2019.