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Uttarakhand HC issues directives to schools

The high court instructed that schools across the state should provide every student with identity card that has electronic chip, which can provide the location of the student to the parents through mobile application/ software

dehradun Updated: Sep 26, 2018 06:00 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Nainital
Uttarakhand high court,Schools,Sexual assault
Uttarakhand High Court at Nainital. (HT File Photo)

The Uttarakhand high court on Tuesday issued a slew of mandatory directives to schools in the state, after admitting a public interest litigation (PIL) related to the alleged sexual assault on a three-and-half-year-old girl in Nainital’s Haldwani area recently.

The high court instructed that schools across the state should provide every student with identity card that has electronic chip, which can provide the location of the student to the parents through mobile application/ software.

Warning the schools of action if they fail to comply with its order, the court said: “If the directions are not followed in letter and spirit by school management/ administrator/principals / headmasters and ministerial staff in each and every school of Uttarakhand, the court may not hesitate to recommend the cancellation of their affiliation/recognition.” The high court ruled that “every movement of the student, right from the time the student is picked up till the moment student leaves the school premises and is dropped by the transport vehicle, should be reported to the parents through SMS”.

Stating that it is one of the “regal, sovereign functions of the state to maintain law and order”, the high court directed the senior superintendent of police, Nainital, to lodge a first information report (FIR) within 48 hours against the school management/administrator for dereliction of duties as they have failed to ensure the safety of the student, who was allegedly sexually abused/assaulted in the bus.

The high court also said women staff should be put on duty and CCTVs should be installed in every transport vehicle deployed by private schools. The live display should be available with the principal/vice-principal of the school, the court added. The directions were given by a division bench of acting chief justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma Tiwari while hearing a PIL filed by Aklema Parveen.

The court said the “petitioner has highlighted a barbaric, inhumane, immoral, sexual assault on a student in the town of Haldwani in a school van. A public spirited person filed an FIR of his own. The petitioner has highlighted the growing crime in the town of Haldwani. He has also highlighted the insensitivity of the entire system to save the child from sexual molestation/abuse”.

The court also pointed out that “petitioner has highlighted that the parents of the student were threatened by few persons allegiance with the school administration to dissuade them from pursuing the matter”.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 06:00 IST