Fix liability on Schools for Sexual Abuse, Accidents in premises, says PIL; SC asks petitioner to approach Centre [Read Petition]
The Supreme Court today asked the petitioner in a PIL which sought framing of guidelines to fix responsibility and liability on the educational institutions in whose incidents of sexual abuse and accidents happen, to approach the Centre in this regard.
As petitioner Vineet Dhanda, a lawyer pleaded that such directions from the apex court was essential as such incidents were on the rise and more disturbing part besides the gory crime of child sexual abuse is that the educational institutions have no liability what so ever fixed by law in case of such offences in their premises and even the police administration goes out of the way to protect such educational institutions for their own vested interests.
But a bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said “law is there and it will take its own course. As and when any such incident takes place the concerned person will be prosecuted as per the law”.
“Even if we formulate directions it will not be easy for us to implement those. You rather approach the central government”, Chief Justice T S Thakur told Vineet Dhanda’s lawyer J P Dhanda.
“Issue an appropriate writ in nature of mandamus order or direction directing the respondent-Union of India and other respondents to take immediate necessary steps to control the menace of child sexual abuse and other tragedies in schools and other educational institutions to make appropriate statutory laws laying down rules, regulations and guidelines for fixing the liability of the administration of educational institutions/schools in case of sexual abuse of children if committed within their premises and by their staff”, said the PIL
“To protect the precious lives of children from being scarred as a result of such dastardly acts is the prime duty of schools as well as the prime duty of government and administration but in the present scenario the schools, government as well as the public administration is not doing their duty properly as a result of which the sexual crimes against the children in schools and other educational institutions have witnessed a sharp rise. It is the duty of schools, government and public administration to ensure the safety of innocent children from such heinous acts”, the PIL said.
The lawyer argued that several times he read in the newspapers about “the innocent children being sexually assaulted in various educational institutions throughout the country but the government has not formulated any guidelines or special laws for school administration fixing their liability in case any such incidents happens in their premises or their transport services,”
“Throughout the country parents work tirelessly to provide best education to their children for their better future. The schools show no mercy in charging money from parents for exorbitant donations for admissions to high amount of fees for one excuse or other but when it comes to the safety of the children in schools no responsibility what so ever is shown by the school administration in protection of innocent children as a result of which menace of child sexual abuse in educational institutions is increasing day by day without any check”, the PIL added.
Read the Petition here.