MADURAI: A District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO), who was sentenced by a trial court to undergo five years imprisonment, in connection with the death of 94 children in a fire accident at the Sri Krishna School in Kumbakonam has moved the Madras HC (Madurai Bench) challenging his conviction.
The official R Balaji from Mayiladuthurai taluk submitted that he had worked as District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO) in Thanjavur for only four months between March 1 and June 30, 2004, whereas the fire accident took place on July 16, 2004.
The trial court, he contended, failed to consider the actual duties and responsibilities of a (DEEO).
Balaji said the trial court had acquitted him of the charge of being hand in glove with the school management in favouring the institution but he was convicted on the grounds of not performing of his duty.
He contended that even if it is true, mere dereliction of duty cannot result in fastening of criminal liability on him as he is only a “forwarding authority”.
He forwarded the inspection report submitted by his lower officers to his higher authorities.
Hence he prayed the court to set aside his conviction.
A bench comprising Justices S Manikumar and V S Ravi admitted the petition submitted by the official R Balaji for hearing.