The UttarakhandHigh Court Thursday ordered the Centre to appoint a regular director for Dehradun-based National Institute for Visually Handicapped which was in the news recently for alleged sexual harassment of the institute's students by its staffers.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Manoj Tiwari asked the Central government to appoint a regular director for the institute within three weeks or else the principal secretary of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will have to appear before it to explain the failure.
The court had earlier taken cognisance of news reports about NIVH's students' protests against the teachers and staffers allegedly involved in sexual abuse of the inmates and had turned the reports into a public interest litigation.
While adjudicating the PIL, the bench said, "It could never be imagined in any civilised society that teachers would be involved in sexual harassment and abuse of students. It is a black spot on the entire teachers' community."
"The teachers and staffers of an institution are torch-bearers for the specially challenged children. The children may be blind, but they are required to be shown the light by the teachers and the ministerial staff.
Earlier on August 20 too, the court had directed the government to appoint a regular director of the institute within three weeks.
The court, subsequently on August 29, had ordered Uttarakhand Agriculture secretary D Senthil Pandian to hold an inquiry into the NIVH affairs on an urgent basis and complete it within 15 days.
Pandian had later submitted a report in a sealed cover, which the court opened on September 13 in the presence of various parties and considered it.
The report said Nachiketa Rout was the officiating director of the institute and since he was on leave, Dr Geetika Mathur was working in his place.
No regular director, however, has been appointed till date, the court was told Thursday, after which the bench reiterated its order.
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