HC tells schools to obey safety norms

HC tells schools to obey safety norms

The High Court on Wednesday warned of criminal action against educational institutions that do not comply with the guidelines issued by the commissioner of Bangalore police on safety of schoolchildren.

Justice A N Venugopal Gowda directed the State government and the police commissioner to set up a special cell headed by an officer of the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police for the said purpose. The bench also directed that the cell should work to enable the institutions to clarify and address all their concerns related to safety of schoolchildren.

During the hearing, the bench also asked why the police commissioner had failed to conduct meetings with school managements to redress their grievance that they were unable to implement the safety guidelines. The police should not just issue circulars to schools, but ensure that all schools implement them, it observed.

The bench even warned that if the police failed to inspect all schools to check if the guidelines were complied with, the court might have to direct the judicial officers to take over the powers of the police to investigate the schools. The court directed the police to submit a report  at the next hearing on September 16, after inspecting the schools.

Hearing a batch of petitions filed by school managements expressing concerns about guidelines, including the financial burden of implementing them, the bench asserted that all schools were bound to comply with the guidelines by September 15, and directed the City police to submit a report the next day.

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