BENGALURU: After looking at photographs of policemen with weapons interrogating children of Shaheen Education Society at Bidar in connection with a sedition case, the Karnataka High Court on Monday observed that prima facie, it is a serious violation of children’s rights and directed the State Gov- ernment to issue orders to ensure such violations do not occur.
The case pertains to a play staged by students of classes 4, 5 and 6 of Shaheen Primary and High School in Bidar on January 21 2020, which allegedly questioned the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registry of Citizens (NRC).
The play had also allegedly made a derogatory comment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The police later visited the school many times to question the students and teachers. On Monday, the court ordered the State to submit a report on the action taken against the policemen. Passing the order, the court observed that it is a violation of Section 86(5) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
Petitioners seek relief for parents of minors
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice NS Sanjay Gowda was hearing public interest litigation filed by advocate Nayana Jyothi Jhawar and another person in 2020. The petitioners had requested the court to issue directions to the investigating officer to follow prescribed rules while examining minors in a criminal investigation and to protect the interest of minors during questioning.
They also sought compensation to the parents or legal guardians of the minors for the alleged emotional and mental agony. The court passed the order after going through the affidavit filed by the police department, which did not contest the photographs annexed to the rejoinder filed by the petitioner. In the statement of objections filed in February 2020, the State Government, however, informed the court that the policemen were not in uniform when they met and counselled 17 students.
On January 28, 2020, the investigating officer visited the school premises along with witnesses and seized the Digital Video Recorder (DVR). He had removed his uniform and worn a civil dress before requesting the school authorities to produce the children who participated in the play along with their class teachers for counselling.
Policy on free assistive laptops
The Karnataka High Court has dropped contempt proceedings against the state government after the latter implemented its order by framing a policy to provide free assistive technologyenabled laptops to visually impaired students to pursue higher education. The contempt petition was filed by city-based advocate S Umapathi.