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SC for comprehensive guidelines for safety of children in schools

The Supreme Court bench asked advocate Suchita Srivastav to study the existing guidelines and consider suggestions of stakeholders and file a comprehensive report.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2017 19:33 IST
Ryan International School, Bhondsi, reopens ten days after Class 2 student murder.
Ryan International School, Bhondsi, reopens ten days after Class 2 student murder. (Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)

The Supreme Court said on Monday that it would frame comprehensive guidelines to ensure safety and security of schoolchildren, and ordered compilation of norms formulated by the Centre and states for its consideration.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was hearing several pleas including the one filed by the father of a seven-year-old boy who was found dead with his throat slit at Ryan International School in Gurgaon in September.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked all stakeholders to give their suggestions for comprehensive compilation and posted the matter for further hearing on December 4.

It asked advocate Suchita Srivastav to study the existing guidelines and consider suggestions of stakeholders, including the Centre, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), state governments and other parties concerned, and file a comprehensive report.

Srivastav is one of the counsels for the two women lawyers who have filed a separate petition on the issue of safety of schoolchildren.

“We are going to frame guidelines for the future,” the bench said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Sushil Tekriwal, appearing for Barun Chandra Thakur, the father of the Ryan International student, referred to the CBSE’s reply and said that if the earlier guidelines of the board had been complied with, this unfortunate incident could have been avoided.

The Class 2 student was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of September 8. It was alleged that he was killed by 42-year-old bus conductor Ashok Kumar inside the toilet as the boy resisted a bid to sodomise him.

On October 9, the Centre had told the apex court that it had issued guidelines and advisories to all states on safety and security of schoolchildren and that it had a limited role as its guidelines are to be enforced by the states.

The court had on October 9 asked the state governments to ensure that the Centre’s guidelines on safety and security of children were implemented in “reality” in every school of the country.

Earlier, the CBSE said the gruesome killing of a minor boy of Gurugram’s Ryan International School took place due to the “negligence” of the institution’s administration as drivers, conductors were allowed to use washrooms meant only for kids and staff.

The boy’s father, in his plea, has sought laying down of guidelines by which “liability, responsibility and accountability of the management of the schools” across the country can be fixed in matters relating to the safety and security of children at educational institutions.