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SC notice on protecting school children from sexual, mental abuse

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New Delhi, Dec 5:

The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the central and state governments and the union territory administrations on a PIL seeking the framing of “rules, regulations and the guidelines” for protection of school-children from the menace of sexual and mental abuse in the educational premises.

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“It is a good cause,” said a bench of Chief Justice H.L.Dattu and Justice A.K.Sikri issuing notice on the PIL as advocate J.P.Dhanda, appearing for petitioner Vineet Dhanda, addressed the court on the issue.

Referring to numerous newspaper reports about drastic rise in cases of sexual abuse of children within the educational institutions, school transports and boarding houses, the petitioner has sought directions for the framing of strict guidelines for educational institutions to ensure the safety and protection of the students from any sort of “physical and mental abuse”.

Vineet Dhanda has also sought the laying down of the rules for penalising the educational institutions where the incidents of sexual abuse take place.

Dhanda, who is also an advocate, has also sought police intervention for safeguarding the school children from any kind of violence and abuse.

Referring to the reports of sexual abuse of children staying in boarding schools away from their parents, the petitioner said: “The more disturbing part besides the gory crime of child sexual abuse is that the educational institutions have no liabilities whatsoever fixed by law in case of such offences in their premises.”

He said that schools were charging exorbitant fees and other charges but were not discharging their elementary responsibility of securing the lives of children when they are in schools.

“Even the police administration goes out of its way to protect such educational institutions for their own vested interests,” Dhanda told the court.

The petition said that “to protect the precious lives of children from being scared as a result of such dastardly acts is the prime duty of the schools as well as prime duty of the government and administration”. (IANS)