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Delhi HC: Govt’s circulars on schools’ safety standards to be followed strictly

January 17, 2020

The Delhi High Court on Thursday said there should be “strict compliance” of the AAP government’s circulars on maintaining safety-and-security standards in the schools of the national capital and directed that action be taken against the institutions that were violating the same.

The direction came from a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar while disposing of a PIL initiated by it on its own after receiving a letter from an advocate for improving the conditions in the schools of the national capital and for framing guidelines to make them accountable for children’s safety.

Delhi Govt has given several circulars regarding maintaining safety-and-security standards in schools
The bench said the Delhi government had already issued several circulars and taken the requisite steps for maintaining safety-and-security standards in schools and therefore, there was no reason for the court to continue monitoring the case.

Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose told the bench that circulars were issued, asking the schools to carry out police verification of the support staff, counseling and sensitization of all staff, installation of CCTV cameras on the premises and providing separate washrooms for female students.

Taking note of the submission, the bench said only the implementation of the circulars, in letter and spirit, by the schools was required to be ensured.

It directed that “there shall be strict compliance of the circulars by the schools in accordance with law”.
The court further said if there was any violation of the circulars by any school, then action be taken against it in accordance with the law.

Prior to passing of the order, advocate Ashok Agarwal, who was appointed as an “amicus curiae” (friend of the court) by the court to assist it, told the bench that while the Delhi government was taking steps and issuing circulars, they were not being complied with by the schools, especially the unrecognized and municipal schools.

In a report submitted before the court earlier, Agarwal had said he visited six schools in the national capital and found out that they were overcrowded, lacked proper infrastructure, were not completely disabled-friendly, the toilets were in bad shape and drinking water was not properly available.

Source: PTI

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