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Delhi HC empowers committee for school safety inspections

November 13, 2023

The Delhi High Court has mandated that the Child Safety Monitoring Committee established by the city government inspect schools in the national capital, encompassing classrooms and restrooms, to uphold minimum safety standards for students. The court, in delineating the committee’s procedures, specified that the chairperson will determine the school to be inspected on a particular day, providing advance notice to other members.

This directive stems from the court’s independent initiative following an alleged sexual assault on a three-and-a-half-year-old girl at a school in south Delhi’s Panchsheel Enclave earlier this year. The court’s order, issued on November 3, includes provisions for police verification reports of guards and staff, specifically those stationed outside girls’ restrooms. Failure to comply may result in temporary suspension of guards. Similar instructions apply to school bus drivers, with mandatory breath analyser tests.

The court emphasized team-based inspections during school hours (7:00 am to 2:00 pm), ensuring the completion of inspections without premature departure. The inspection process, covering classrooms, toilets, and analogous areas, will be led by the chairperson and documented through photography for transparency. The inspection report will be dictated by the chairperson in the presence of members and recorded in writing. The court further stipulated that members should not interact directly with the school’s head or manager, providing a checklist during inspections for comments related to compliance.

Also read: Karnataka: Enforcement of child safety norms in tutorials urged

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