Published on: November 29, 2023 at 14:06 IST
The Telangana High Court has directed the state to submit a compliance report within four weeks in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that questions the government’s failure to implement the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Guidelines 2016. The guidelines pertain to ensuring fire and structural safety in government schools and junior colleges.
A Division Bench, consisting of Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Anil Kumar Jukanti, granted the state four weeks to file a compliance report. The petitioner argued that the government has not adhered to the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and the subsequent 2016 guidelines.
These guidelines mandated that all government-run schools and junior colleges obtain periodic certificates confirming structural safety, sanitation, water purity, and an adequate number of fire extinguishers.
The petitioner cited the Supreme Court’s judgment in Avinash Mehrotra vs. Union of India, where the court directed schools nationwide to ensure safer conditions.
In response, the State of Telangana issued a Government Order for compliance. The petitioner contended that the non-implementation of NDMA guidelines is a violation.
Before approaching the court, the petitioner used the Right to Information Act, 2005, to verify if the guidelines were being followed. The petitioner discovered that the state was neglecting the guidelines, raising concerns about the safety of students in government schools and junior colleges.
The PIL underscores the importance of adhering to NDMA Guidelines to protect the lives of thousands of underprivileged students in Telangana.
The court has summoned the state’s compliance report, emphasizing the obligation of the state and central governments to uphold constitutional and statutory provisions in safeguarding students’ right to life in government educational institutions.