Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday said that educational institutions - offering O and A Level qualifications - were charging ‘exorbitant fees.’

During a hearing on the issue of exorbitant fees, the chief justice said that the educational institutions are not like steel mills and textile mills, adding that the private educational institutions are looting the masses. Saqib Nisar said that the education has been made into a source of earning money.

To this, a counsel for private schools said that the rising fees were always approved by the pertinent registration authority. “We need to examine the basis for this,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan, also part of the three-judge bench hearing the petition, said.

“Do schools have the right to charge whatever they please? If not, who regulates a fee hike,” the chief justice questioned. “Education is a fundamental right,” the CJP said, adding that the world boasted many great universities. What have we achieved? Oxford and Harvard are (examples) before you.”

“A forensic audit would make clear everything,” the top judge said. CJP Nisar said that exorbitant fees were being charged to further interests of the select few. “Everyone has equal right to grow. Think of your children too,” he said.

The CJP said that public education had been wrecked under a conspiracy. He added by saying that education was being used to generate profit. “Public education system has collapsed due to wrong policies,” CJP remarked.