Hyderabad: A two judge panel of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice A Rajasekar Reddy on Wednesday directed the State government to reopen all residential schools in the State in physical and hybrid mode.
In a PIL filed by Balakrishna Mandapathi stating that children are not vaccinated and it will be a risk for them and teachers, the panel modified an earlier order of the court after Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioner informed the court that the government had stated on oath that sufficient steps were taken by it in this regard.
State Advocate General BS Prasad informed the panel that the Government Residential Schools in Telangana have adopted the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to reopen their institutions and resume physical classes, in accordance with the instructions issued by the Education Department. The Panel also observed that the Government has complied with substantial directions issued by the court and that institutions have made elaborate arrangements to resume physical classes to ensure safety, health and hygiene of students and staff.
Senior Counsel L Ravichander, appearing for the petitioner contended that the Government has taken substantial steps to curb the Covid-19 infection. He further contended that since no vaccination is available for children, the Standard Operating Procedure must be complied with strictly and the children must not be compelled to attend physical classes. He sought a clarification that virtual classes should not be discontinued as was stated by the government in its new set of directions in the SOP.
The panel accordingly cleared the way for opening of the schools and Junior colleges in the government sector and also made clear that all institutions must also have its virtual option in place. The matter has been adjourned to November 10 for further hearing.
Maintain status reports on Musi cleanup
The same panel of the High Court directed Government of Telangana to ensure that all status reports are maintained and filed with regard to cleanup of Musi River. A PIL was filed by Forum for Good Governance, Hyderabad, seeking directions from the court to direct the Government of Telangana to constitute a body having a similar mandate as the Sabarmathi River Front Development Corporation or any other such Special Purpose Vehicle for speedy cleaning of river Musi River. Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma also opined that the river looks more like drainage than that of a river, since it is overflowing with filth, plastic bottles and waste. The Panel observed that a detailed report has been filed by Musi Riverfront Development Corporation in March and has adjourned the matter for further hearing.
Sponsored litigations must not be encouraged
The panel on Wednesday affirmed that sponsored litigations must not be encouraged in the form of a PIL. The Chief Justice made the comment in a PIL filed by Mahender Raju, a practising advocate to declare that consumption of alcohol in permit rooms as permitted under the Telangana Excise Grant License Rules as illegal.
The Panel opined that this only appears to be ‘a sponsored litigation’ and a citizen must either be against or for consumption of alcohol and not partial. The PIL filed by Mahender Raju averts that permit rooms must not be permitted along with wine shops. The Chief Justice said that this will lead people to consuming alcohol on the roads which will not be acceptable. The petitioner sought one week time to file a rejoinder.
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