Taking a serious view of the death of two students after falling into water tanks of their respective schools in January this year, the Delhi High Court on Thursday made it mandatory for all schools in the capital to carry out periodical inspections of buildings and premises.
The high court directed all the schools including MCD, NDMC, government schools, private schools or government-aided schools to submit a quarterly report to the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE).
On January 27, a four-year-old boy died after falling into an open sewer pit at SDMC Primary School, Kapashera. Three days later, a six-year-old boy of Ryan International School, Vasant Kunj, was found dead in a water tank under the amphitheatre of the school.
An enquiry report by the sub-divisional magistrate had said the incident in SDMC school occurred due to gross negligence on the part of the school. The principal was arrested and later released on bail.
An Action Taken Report submitted by the district commissioner of police, South district, had pointed towards a series of safety lapses on part of the Ryan International School. The court was informed that the principal, class teacher, maintenance in-charge of the school, gardener and pump operator were arrested and further investigation is in progress.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, however, left it open to the commissioner of police to proceed with the investigation and take appropriate action in accordance with law against the erring school officials.
The bench further directed the DoE to constitute a Special Task Force, zone-wise, who will visit the schools under their respective zones on a monthly basis and submit their reports before the department’s caretaking branch.
It also directed the executive engineers of the Municipal Corporations here to visit the schools under their area of control on a monthly basis. In case of any defects in relation to their field are found, the executive engineers shall immediately take steps to ensure that the defects are rectified, the court added.
The court’s direction came of petition filed in public interest by Col (retd.) Devinder Sehrawat, MLA from Bijwasan constituency who sought judicial inquiry into the deaths of the student and also called for disaster management assessment of all schools here.