HC Gives Govt 2 Weeks to Revive School Fee Panel

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Srinagar—The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed state government to either reconstitute or extend the term of old fee-fixation committee in the state within two weeks “so that the work will not suffer.”

A division of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice M. K. Hanjura passed the orders following submissions by senior advocate Sunil Sethi, representing Tyndale-Biscoe & Mallinson School, that state government may frame a policy of increasing the fee by a certain percentage amount across the board on an annual basis dependent on certain criteria such as rate of inflation etc.

Apart from this, he said, in case any school requires enhancement more than the prescribed rate, then on a case to case basis, the Committee would consider the cases individually.

He also informed the court that the Committee which was constituted earlier is no longer in position because the term of the Chairman of the Committee has expired.

In 2015, the government appointed Justice (Retd) Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain has as Chairman of the panel for schools with a view to regulate 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 in a catena of authorities that commercialisation and exploitation is not permissible in the Education Sector,” Justice (retd) Hussain has said in his message soon after assuming the charge.

“Education is treated as a noble occupation on no profit-no-loss basis. Thus, those who establish and are managing the Educational Institutions are not expected to indulge in undue profiteering or commercialise this noble activity,” he said.

The fee panel was actually formed in 2013 after the government appointed retired Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, Justice Bilal Nazki, as its chairman. Nazki resigned later.

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