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Peshawar High Court. - File Photo

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday directed the relevant provincial authorities to inform it about the educational institutions where children of the governor, chief minister, chief secretary and secretaries of all administrative departments are enrolled.

Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth also issued directions for the production of the details of the tax returns filed by these important persons.

The bench was hearing four identical writ petitions filed by two chains of school, The Education Services and The City School System, against the suspension of their registration by the respective boards of education due to non-implementation of an earlier order of the high court regarding fee concession to siblings studying in the same school.

During the hearing, the chief justice observed that the elite class had not been taking interest in the improvement of education system and therefore, it was responsible for the children becoming suicide bombers.

He observed that the Constitution guaranteed the provision of education to the children by the state but the rulers had never taken that responsibility seriously.

On Feb 1, 2011, the bench had dismissed some writ petitions filed by leading private schools declaring as legal an Education Department notification to make it binding on them to extend fee concession to siblings studying in same school.

It had also declared the Education Code, 1935, under which the said notification was issued by the government, a valid legal instrument.

Athar Minallah and Mudassir Ameer, counsel for the petitioners, requested the bench to suspend the impugned orders of different boards whereby registration of different branches of these schools had been suspended and their students had not been permitted to appear in board examinations.

They said the high court had issued directions for the setting up of a regulatory authority for streamlining fee system, but that authority had still not been established.

The counsel also said the education boards had no authority to issue directives regarding fee concession to students and they had been misusing the order of the high court.

The bench decided to provide interim relief to the petitioners by suspending the said notifications.

It, however, directed the petitioners to furnish bonds to the tune of one million rupees each so that if a decision was made against them in future, then the money outstanding against them of the students could be paid to them.

The bench directed the regulatory authorities of different boards of education to provide details about private educational institutions and the facilities they provide to students.

The chief justice observed that unfortunately, the government had not taken any step to implement the court’s order on the matter.

During the hearing, the bench ordered the secretaries of higher education, school and literacy, establishment and law departments, and chairmen of all boards of intermediate and secondary education in the province to appear before it on the next hearing to be fixed later.

They were told to submit detailed comments about non-implementation of its order about fee concession and warned of action over non-compliance of the directives.

The bench directed the provincial advocate general and the deputy attorney general to help it on the issue.