Safety guidelines: HC orders action against errant schools

Safety guidelines: HC orders action against errant schools

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday directed the police and State Education Department to initiate action against schools which have not implemented safety guidelines issued by the police commissioner in the wake of increasing sexual assaults on children.

During the hearing of a petition filed by the Karnataka Private School Joint Action Committee, Justice A N Venugopala Gowda said that the time granted for the schools to implement safety measures and the time extended by the court had expired and hence it was open to the police to proceed against schools which have not complied with the directions.

“There is no need to the nodal officials and the police to adopt handshake method while dealing with such schools,” the court said. The committee has approached the court challenging the safety guidelines issued by the police in July this year.
The court expressed its unhappiness with the schools and officials for their failure to implement the guidelines.

“Despite constituting a committee and conducting meetings you have not achieved anything. You have just wasted time. The rape incidents are increasing,” the court noted.

The judge directed Mohammed Mohsin, Commissioner for Public Instruction, who was present before the court to initiate action against officials who fail to ensure
implementation of the guidelines.

“The court expects every government servant involved in imparting education and implementing safety of children to act with vigil. If any slackness is found, there should not be any hesitation in initiating action against such persons,” Justice Gowda said.

When G R Mohan, counsel for one of the petitioners pointed out that the issue was being politicised, the court observed: “There is a competition among the political parties in Karnataka. They just go to pose for photos when such incidents occur, not to assist the management in implementing guidelines or provide them with a solution.”

Reacting to the submission of BBMP counsel, the court said that each of the corporator was a minister in his ward. City can be beautiful if each one works for its betterment, it noted.

Citing the affidavits filed by the government before the Supreme Court, the court noted that the instant case was an opportunity to find out the measures taken for implementing the assurance given to the apex court.

“Since the government has constituted a high power committee on November 6, 2014, it is for the committee to meet frequently. If necessary, it can have a video conference and devise an action plan to secure safety of the children going to the schools,” it said.

Contempt notice issued

The High Court has issued a contempt notice to the commissioner, Department of Public Instruction in a petition filed by Javeria English school, Thanisandra.
The school had challenged the permission given to a school opposite its premises earlier this month.

Justice A S Bopanna had directed the department to look into the matter with two months of receiving the complaint.

Since there was no action from the officials, the school had moved the court alleging contempt.

A division bench comprising Justice N K Patil and Justice Indrakala ordered the notice.

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