The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notices on a PIL filed against conducting of online classes by schools and colleges in the state of Tamil Nadu amid the lockdown, in the absence of requisite schemes and guidelines under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The division bench comprised by Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar has issued notices to the Union of India, Union Ministry of Information & Technology, CERT, and other state authorities.
The petition filed by one Saranya S. states that conducting online classes in the absence of adequate laws to keep a check on the material being circulated thereon to the students, is unwarranted and not "congenial" for the purposes of education.
The Petitioner apprehends that due to gap in the existing Rules viz., Information Technology Act, 2000 read alongwith the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009, The Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguard for Monitoring and Collecting Traffic Data or Information) Rules 2009, and The Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data of Information) Rules 2011,
"there is no guidelines restricting or checking the material which pops up on the Screen which may not be congenial for the education of the Students, who are constrained to undergo the Online Education."
Discerning the matter to be of "larger public importance", the bench issued notices to the Respondents and posted the matter for consideration on June 25.
The bench however did not grant any interim relief to the Petitioner and consequently the schools and colleges may continue to conduct online classes for the time being.
Case Title: Saranya S. v. Union of India & Ors.
Case No.: WP No. 7982/2020
Quorum: Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar
Appearance: Senior Advocate S. Prabhakaran with R. Krishnakumar (for Petitioner); Additional Solicitor General G. Rajagopalan assisted by Standing Counsel Venkataswamy Babu (for Union of India); Government Pleader V. Jayaprakash Narayanan (for State); Special Govt. Pleader C. Munusamy (for Education Dept)
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