BANGALORE: The High Court on Thursday came down heavily on private schools and the state government for not taking steps to implement safety guidelines issued by the police.
Justice A N Venugopala Gowda, while hearing a petition filed by private schools challenging the circular issued by the City Police Commissioner following the Vibgyor rape case, directed the schools to adopt security measures on school premises. The petitioners had complained that guidelines were issued only to private schools, not government schools. The court then directed the state to provide security in government-run schools as well.
Counsel representing the state said issuance of ID cards is done and CCTV cameras will be installed in all schools shortly, at a cost of Rs 13 crore.
Unhappy with the submission, Justice Gowda said, “You (the government) have funds for Ksheera Bhagya and Anna Bhagya. So why don’t you have money for providing security for children?”
He said there is a lack of co-ordination between various departments and that the government must first make its schools secure before asking others to put in place security measures. “We are dealing with kids. I don’t think Rs 13 crore is a big amount for the government,” the judge said.
The court had previously given private schools time till October 31 and the state government till November 30 to implement safety guidelines, including distributing ID cards to parents, installing CCTV cameras and increasing the number of security guards. “One-and-a-half months have passed since. Why have both of you not done anything?” the judge asked.
He said there was no serious effort by the state and guidelines cannot be implemented by the police alone. He directed the government to form a committee, headed by an official not below the rank of additional chief secretary, including department secretaries for this.
‘WHY AREN’T YOU DOING ANYTHING?’
Referring to the recent rape of a three-year-old girl in Orchids School in Jalahalli, Justice Venugopala Gowda said the Education Department was not doing anything against unauthorised schools. “Providing security is not only the duty of the Home Department. It is the duty of other departments as well. Close the aided schools which won’t follow safety guidelines,” he said.