ISLAMABAD, June 7: The Supreme Court ordered the four provinces and the Islamabad administration on Thursday to submit details of facilities available in government schools.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had taken up a suo motu case relating to a girls school functioning in a graveyard in Gujranwala division.

It expressed concern over spending of a huge amount on the Daanish School System in Punjab at the cost of government schools that lacked basic facilities.

The court observed that the provincial government’s plan breached Article 25-A of the Constitution which recognised education as a fundamental right of every citizen.

“The Punjab government has allocated billions of rupees for distribution of laptops but girls are compelled to study in the graveyard. It is unfortunate that education is not our prime priority,” the chief justice said.

“It is a good opportunity for the court to interpret Article 25-A which states that education is a fundamental right of every citizen.”

Punjab Advocate General Ashtar Ausaf said the provincial government had allocated Rs5 billion for 628 schools which lacked basic facilities. He said he had visited the school allegedly being run near the graveyard and Rs40 million had been allocated for it.

MNA Kashmala Tariq, who was present in the courtroom, admitted that it was the job of lawmakers to take action on such issues and requested the court to seek reports from others provinces since schools in Sindh and Balochistan were also in a miserable condition. The hearing was put off for four weeks.

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