The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday ordered the state government to install CCTV cameras in government schools and make them mandatory in grant-in-aid and private schools.
It asked the state to file an affidavit on its progress by June 29.
The order of a bench of acting Chief Justice Anant S Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav came in response to a PIL filed by Deepak Dhakana in September 2017 seeking a direction to the state government to install CCTV cameras in schools in order to ensure safety of students after incidents of child molestation in schools were reported in Ahmedabad.
The purpose of such CCTV cameras would also be to regulate academic activities and to ensure that classes are held properly, the PIL said.
The cameras were proposed to be installed both in the school premises and inside the classrooms.
In its submission, the state government said it had no objection to the proposal, and it is committed to the safety of students, but maintained that it will require special budgetary allocations and the exercise will be exhaustive.
It said CCTV cameras were already installed in several schools, but a majority of schools were still without them.
Through his lawyer Nishith Joshi, the petitioner argued that a majority of schools lack CCTV cameras and it leads to exploitation of children.
In its guidelines on child safety in schools, the Supreme Court had also said that school management should install sufficient CCTV cameras on its premises and also facing road and entry, exit and periphery.
The Delhi government had last year approved a project to install CCTV cameras in government schools after a spate of attacks on children inside institutes across the NCR in the past year.
The cameras were proposed to cover classrooms, corridors, laboratories, libraries, vacant rooms, parking lots and areas outside washrooms.
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