ISLAMABAD: Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Monday remarked that private schools can be closed or nationalized.
Justice Gulzar Ahmed’s remarks came as he headed a three-judge Supreme Court bench which heard a contempt of court case against two private schools.
During the hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan censured private school authorities and said, “How did you have the audacity to term the court’s decision regarding the hike in school fee “a draconian judgment”. Your letters to parents are in contempt of court.”
Justice Gulzar added, “What kind of things do you write? We should close your schools and can even nationalize them. We can ask the government to handle the administrative affairs of your schools.”
The counsel of the private school then said, “We apologize to the court. No such thing will happen again.”
At this, Justice Gulzar said, “You can submit a written apology and we will take a look. We will get an audit done to check whether you have black or white money.”
“Education has been made into a business,” he said and added, “Schools are not a money-making industry.” Justice Gulzar further said, “There’s not a drop of shame in the eyes of private school owners.”
The counsel of the private schools then told the bench, “We did not intend to insult the court and have implemented court orders and a reduced fee.”
However, Justice Gulzar remarked, “We are aware of the kind of comments that were passed after the court order. Why don’t we deal with private schools and order the government to take charge of them? Schools are neither an industry nor a money-making sector.”
“Private school administrators ask parents questions which are unimaginable. Who are private schools administrators to ask parents where they take their children for holidays and entertainment? Those schools which charge high fee become famous,” the judge censured.
The court then adjourned the hearing of the case for two weeks.