Students should not be forced to attend MGR centenary events; Madras HC refuses to repeal stay

Holding that no one has the right to summon students outside schools, whether, on working days or holidays, a special bench of the Madras HC refused to repeal the interim stay on school students.

Published: 29th September 2017 03:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th September 2017 12:47 PM   |  A+A-

Madras HC (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Holding that no one has the right to summon students outside schools, whether, on working days or holidays, a special bench of the Madras High Court refused to repeal the interim stay on school students’ participation in the events marking the birth centenary of late Chief Minister MG Ramachandran, and instead made it absolute.

The matter pertains to a PIL filed by the NGO Change India that spoke of how school students were being compelled to participate in the celebrations. The bench on Wednesday stayed the participation of school children in the celebrations through an interim order in the morning. However, with another such event scheduled in Salem, the Chief Minister’s native, on Saturday, the government immediately filed a petition to vacate the stay.

But the bench was not convinced by the argument put forth by the State. “Nobody has the right to summon the students outside the schools whether it be on a working day or a holiday,” said the bench comprising Justices S Vaidyanathan and R Subramanian.

The court clarified that it was all for the government organising motivational lectures for students, but highlighted its concern over the manner in which the students were ferried to and from the venue as well as the safety of students at the venue.

“We should also take into account the risks that are involved when thousands of students are transported from all over the district to a particular venue and are made to assemble there,” said the bench. “Even a minor accident would result in a stampede which may lead to disastrous consequences... we are bound to point out that such risks always exist.”

The bench, however, clarified that those students who were involved in the cultural programmes and were receiving awards from dignitaries could attend the programme. It also said that those who wished to attend the function voluntarily with their family or friends were also welcome to.


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