Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court stayed the notification of Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) dated June 21, 2016, directing the private educational institutions (PEI) within Islamabad Capital Territory to implement its rules while determining their fees.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq suspended PEIRA’s notification which has directed the private educational institutions to implement PEIs (Registration and Fee Determination) rules 2016 under ICT-PEIRA Act 2013.

The IHC issued the suspension orders on a petition moved by The City School (Private) Limited and Jahangir Firoz who had challenged the said notification of PEIRA.

In this matter, the IHC bench also issued notices to the secretary Capital Administration & Development Division (CADD) and the PEIRA for August 30.

The PIERA which is an autonomous body under ministry of CADD had directed in its notification to PEIs to ensure compliance of the fee schedule for the upcoming academic session of 2016-17 otherwise there will be administrative action taken against the institutions.

The petitioners through their counsel, Asma Jahangir contended before the IHC that PEIRA’s restrictions make the running of a PEI virtually dysfunctional. In order to disguise the inability of the government in fulfilling its constitutional obligation, the respondents are misleading the public into believing that the policy of the government in decreasing fee in private institutions is a step towards implementing Article 25 A of the Constitution. The policy of government is placing an embargo on reasonable fee raise is a folly and it is misconceived.

Their counsel adopted before the court that the PEIRA and its nominees set the ground rules from criteria of admissions based on its own subjective understanding, fee structure, teaching and non-teaching staff, resolution of any complaints, level of facilities offered and the capping of profit of the petitioner according to its own calculations.

She added that it virtually takes over all management expect share any losses that the petitioner may incur as a result of such policies.

Petitioner said that a report issued by the Ministry of Education in March 2004 itself concluded that it should be the market forces rather than unreasonable regulations that will improve and expand the availability of quality education. Therefore, the petitioners prayed to the court to declare the notification as illegal.