Nursery Class Ward Sexually Assaulted In School Van, U’khand HC Asks School To Follow Instructions Or Risk Cancellation Of Affiliation [Read Order]
FIR to be registered against school admin in 48 hrs
Five days after a three-and-a-half-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in her school van by the driver and conductor in Haldwani, the Uttarakhand High Court has directed the police to register FIR against the school administration within 48 hours and have directed all schools in the state to install GPS in their vehicles and CCTVs every corner of their school, keep parents informed about their wards via SMS failing which their affiliation would be cancelled.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma also asked the District Magistrate to personally visit each and every private school every fortnight to check whether CCTV cameras installed are functional and are also not tampered with.
The bench passed the directions on a petition moved by one Aklema Parveen highlighting the “barbaric, inhumane, immoral, sexual assault on a student (studying in Nursery) in the town of Haldwani in a school van”.
The minor was sexually assaulted inside the van. The incident came to light after the girl complained of pain and her parents took her for a medical examination.
The petitioner shared how the students were increasingly unsafe on the school premises and during their travel to and from the school and how the school administration also does not make any effort to ensure them safety.
The bench passed following mandatory directions:
- In every bus deployed by the private schools, the female staff should be deployed mandatorily. It shall be the duty of the female staff to pickup and drop the student safely.
- Every transport vehicle deployed by the private schools is ordered to be fitted with the CCTV live display which should be available with the principal/vice-principal of the school.
- Every student in all the schools throughout the state of Uttarakhand is ordered to be provided with identity card fitted with an electronic chip which can provide the location of the student to the parents at any time and at any place through mobile application/ software.
- Every movement of the student i.e., the moment student is picked up and the moment student leaves the school premises and dropped by the transport vehicle, the same should be reported to the parents through SMS.
- The principals/head masters of the government schools/ public schools/private schools are requested to hold regular awareness programmes in the schools to sensitize the staff and the students.
- Henceforth, the credentials of each and every staff member of the private school shall be duly verified by the police before their employment. The credential shall also be independently verified by the principal/administrator of the school management.
- The endeavour should be made to deploy only those persons who have their roots in the city as drivers and conductors to transport the students.
- Every private school in the state of Uttarakhand is ordered to install CCTV cameras in the school rooms, corridors and every corner, more particularly, in the isolated places in the schools.
- It should be the personal responsibility of school management/administrator to ensure the safety of every student to be transported from home to school and back.
- It is one of the regal, sovereign functions of the state to maintain law and order. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Nainital, is directed to lodge FIR within 48 hours against the school management/administrator for dereliction of their duties as they have failed to ensure the safety of the student, who was sexually abused/assaulted in the bus.
- Every private school throughout the state of Uttarakhand is directed to ensure installation of global positioning system (GPS) in every transport vehicle to locate its movement.
- It is made clear by way of abundant precaution that all the directions given hereinabove shall be followed obediently, punctually and in letter and spirit by school management/administrator/principals/headmasters and ministerial staff in each and every school of the state of Uttarakhand failing which the court may not hesitate to recommend the cancellation of their affiliation/recognition.
- The administrator/management shall be personally held responsible for breach of any of the mandatory directions, issued hereinabove.
- The District Magistrate or the officer not below the rank of Additional District Magistrate posted in every district in the state of Uttarakhand shall personally visit each and every private school every fortnight to ensure whether CCTV cameras installed are functional and are also not tampered with.