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Uttaranchal High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Rajiv Sharma, ACJ. and Sharad Kumar Sharma, J., gave directions to ensure safety of school students from the moment they leave their home to when they reach back to the same.

The petitioner has brought before the Court a case of sexual assault committed on a student inside a school van in the State highlighting the barbaric nature of the act, which he assets to have increased with an alarming rate and thus he pleads to look into the matter with sensitivity as safety and security of students was a grave issue. The petitioner has also attached details of the recent crimes committed against the girl child in District Nainital.

The petitioner brought into light the threats attributed towards the parents of the students by a few persons in allegiance with the school administration in order to dissuade them to pursue the matter. Hence it was the responsibility of the School Administration/Management to ensure the safety of every student by taking necessary remedial steps to address this menace.

Accordingly:

  • Every Private School bus shall deploy female staff mandatorily entrusted with the duty to pickup and drop the student safely, information of which shall be communicated to parents through SMS along with GPS in the vehicle to locate its movement.
  • Deploy only those persons who have their roots in the city as drivers and conductors to transport the students.
  • Every transport vehicle was ordered to be fitted with the CCTV live display which should be available with the school along with CCTV cameras in the school premises.
  • Provide students with identity card fitted with electronic chip providing location of the student to the parents through mobile application/ software throughout the State.
  • Verification of the credentials of each and every staff member shall be done by the police.
  • The Senior Superintendent of Police, Nainital was directed to lodge FIR within 48 hours if the school fails with the dereliction of the above directions.

The Court concluded by cautioning the authorities to act with responsibility by complying the above directions failure of which, the court would not hesitate to recommend the cancellation of their affiliation/recognition. [Aklema Parveen v. State of Uttarakhand, 2018 SCC OnLine Utt 860, Order dated 25-09-2018]