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'Elders Work From Home But Children Go To School?' Supreme Court Criticizes Delhi Govt Decision To Reopen Schools Amid Pollution

Srishti Ojha
2 Dec 2021 8:24 AM GMT
Elders Work From Home But Children Go To School? Supreme Court Criticizes Delhi Govt Decision To Reopen Schools Amid Pollution
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The Supreme Court of India on Thursday expressed its disapproval towards the Delhi Government's decision to reopen schools amidst the ongoing pollution crisis in the national capital.A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant called out the Delhi Government for reopening schools even after having told the court before that schools...

The Supreme Court of India on Thursday expressed its disapproval towards the  Delhi Government's decision to reopen schools amidst the ongoing pollution crisis in the national capital.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant called out the Delhi Government for reopening schools even after having told the court before that schools have been closed and work from home has been introduced for employees.

The Bench also expressed concern towards the health of children as young as 3-4 years old who are going to school early morning when the National Capital in enveloped in fog.

Addressing Senior Advocate Dr AM Singhvi appearing for the Delhi Government, Chief Justice of India said,"We take your statements in Court seriously and that in letter and spirit they will be implemented. One thing you told was schools have been closed. But schools are not closed. Small children of 3 years 4 years have to go to schools in morning in fog and bad conditions . There's no respect? See today's paper. Children are going. I know children who're going to school".

"Everything we need not tell you. We respect you. You've introduced work from home. So elders have work from home and children have to go to school?" CJI remarked

Addressing the Court's query and concern, Senior Counsel AM Singhvi appearing for the Delhi Government informed the court about the ongoing debate on the aspect of closing and reopening of schools

"There's a lot of debate about learning loss. Both sides are correct, one believes children are shouldn't be exposed , other side is saying there's a learning loss." Mr Singhvi said.

Mr Singhvi  informed the Court that schools were closed by the Delhi Government. However from 26th November, schools were opened with condition that only willing parents will send their children to schools and the option of online classes has been provided to the rest.

Mr Singhvi stated that if the Bench is saying that schools have to be closed, the same will be done.

The Bench responded by saying that it is for the Government to take the action.

"Don't use our shoulder. You are Governments you have to take action." CJI said.

CJI Ramana further stated "You are saying whoever wants to come can come, and if you want to stay at home then stay. If you give option, everyone will come, who wants to stay at home"

" You have to take a call. What you want to do. Don't tell us we have to take a call." CJI said.

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi submitted that he'll take instructions and respond when the matter is heard tomorrow.

Soon after today's hearing, the Delhi Government announced the decision to close the schools from tomorrow until further orders.  "Schools in Delhi to be closed from tomorrow till further orders due to pollution: Environment Minister Gopal Rai" a tweet by PTI said.


The bench was hearing a writ petition (Aditya Dubey(Minor) and others versus Union of India and others) which seeks directions to reduce the air pollution in Delhi-NCR. The matter will be next considered on December 3, at 10 am.

Expressing serious concern towards the probable effect of Delhi's present air pollution crisis on the health of school going children, the Bench had earlier asked the Delhi Government what steps have been taken in that regard.

Following the observations made by the Top Court, a meeting was conducted by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in relation to the Delhi crisis, where the Delhi Government had decided to shut the schools in Delhi for a week.

The Directorate of Education, Delhi had issued an order for the closing down of all schools on November 21.

A week later, the Delhi Government through a notification dated 27th November 2021 notified reopening of all Delhi schools including Government, Government . Aided, Unaided Recognized, NDMC, MCDs and Delhi Cantonment Board Schools from 29.11.2021 for all classes.


Also from today's hearing -  Delhi Pollution : 'We Give You 24 Hours', Supreme Court To Create 'Task Force' If Centre Doesn't Take Serious Measures

Case Title: Aditya Dubey (Minor) & Anr vs Union of India & Ors

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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