Schools challenge amendment to Karnataka Education Act, 2017

Schools challenge amendment to Karnataka Education Act, 2017
The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday issued notice to the Department of Parliamentary Affairs and to the Department of Primary and Higher Secondary Education on a petition challenging the amendment to the Karnataka Education (second amendment) Act, 2017.

The petitioners, Associated Managements of Government Recognised English Medium Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) and others challenged the amendment contending that it is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of India.

The petitioners contended that the introduction of Section 5A — safety and security of children and section 112A — penalty for contravention of section 5A — where any employee or member of the management of an educational institution who contravenes Section 5A shall be punished with imprisonment for a minimum of six months and with a fine of Rs 1 lakh, is against the provisions of the Constitution of India. The petitioners contended that the amendment overrides the central acts in relation to child safety like Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 - Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 and The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The petitioners have opposed the appointment of the deputy commissioner as the District Regulation Authority saying that the DC is the head of the revenue department and has nothing to do with the education department. Further, they said the amendment to the act has only the Governor’s assent and not the assent from the President. The petitioners sought directions to strike down the amended section. Justice L Narayanaswamy ordered notice in the matter.

HC bench recuses

A division bench, headed by Chief Justice S K Mukherjee, has recused itself from hearing a PIL seeking appropriate medical facilities to prisoners in the state. The High Court Legal Services Committee filed a PIL seeking directions to provide psychiatrists, assistant medical officers and paramedical staff at the Central Prison.

The petitioner contended that various news reports from different districts are pouring light on the pathetic conditions and about inadequate medical facilities in jails. Inmates serving jail term were grappling with problems which grossly infringe upon their fundamental right to live.

The petitioners said, there are only three medical officers,  including a psychiatrist, for 4,400 inmates.

Further, they say, six jail inmates are HIV+ and are on anti-retroviral therapy, 12 of them have advanced tuberculosis, 60 are suffering from epilepsy and 140 are psychiatric patients. Medical infrastructure is inadequate, according to senior prisons officials. Justice Mukherjee in his order said, “Since one of us is not inclined to take up this matter on his personal ground, let this matter go out of the list.”

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