KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday restrained the private schools from taking any coercive action against students over non-payment of full tuition fee.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar issued the restraining order till May 14 after the provincial law officer approached the court seeking modification in its earlier ad-interim order in which the bench had also suspended the second notification of provincial authorities regarding the 20 per cent concession to parents in school fees of April and May.

Sindh Advocate General Salman Talibuddin moved an application on behalf of the education authorities, who are made respondents in the petition, and sought the modification in the court’s May 5 order to the effect that no coercive action should be taken by the petitioners in case of non-payment of full tuition fee by the students.

He further submitted that a similar order was also passed by the same bench on April 22 in an identical matter.

CNG dealers ask the court to order Ogra to review CNG prices in view of unprecedented fall in crude oil prices

“The request made by him appears to be reasonable. Issue notice to the petitioners. Till the next date of hearing, no coercive action shall be taken against any of the students in case of non-payment of full tuition fee,” the bench ruled.

It directed both the sides to come up on May 14 when the matter would be taken up again for hearing.

Earlier on May 5, the bench had also suspended the second notification of the provincial education authorities to provide 20pc fee concession to parents till May 14 after privately managed schools had again approached the SHC against the concession in tuition fee after their first petition was disposed of for being infructuous.

The earlier petition of the private schools against the first notification about fee concession had become infructuous since the provincial authorities had issued a new notification/special order superseding the previous one to provide concession in school fees of April and May after making amendments in the rules.

However, the petitioners again approached the SHC and challenged the special order/notification issued by the director general of the directorate of inspection/registration of private institutions on April 28 notifying the 20pc mandatory concession in tuition fee again.

They also confronted the notification issued by the school education and literacy department on April 27 to amend the Sindh Private Educational Institutions (Regulations & Control) Rules 2005 and empowered the directorate of inspection/registration of private institutions to issue a special order in extraordinary circumstances including enhancement or reduction in fee and remuneration of teachers and other staff.

CNG price

Another division bench of the SHC on Tuesday issued notices to the ministry of petroleum and natural resources, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and gas companies on a petition seeking review of the tariff for CNG sector.

The bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar observed that the point raised by the lawyer for petitioners required consideration and issued notices to the ministry, Ogra, Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd as well as the deputy attorney general for May 21.

The Sindh petroleum and CNG dealers associations and others approached the SHC and sought directives for respondents to review the gas tariff for the CNG sector in view of the unprecedented fall in the price of crude oil in international market.

The counsel for petitioners, Mohsin Shahwani, argued that the gas companies had approached Ogra for determination of the CNG tariff by taking the plea that the cost of gas purchased was based on projected wellhead gas prices effective July 2019 worked out on estimated average C&F price for crude oil at US$61 per barrel and HSFO US$351.30 per metric ton.

However, the lawyer contended that now the price of crude oil was about $20 to $25 per barrel and the respondent may reduce the CNG price and sought directives for Ogra to initiate the review proceedings.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2020