Cops can’t count school kids: SC

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Kerala High Court order asking the state government to engage police personnel in head count of the poor students given admission by private aided schools under the mandatory 25 per cent quota for them as per the Right to Education Act provisions.

A bench of Justices R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik granted the stay on a special leave petition of the Kerala government, which said engaging the police personnel in the counting exercise would vitiate the academic atmosphere.

The court meanwhile, issued notice to the association of parents and teachers on whose petition the HC had passed an ex-parte order on October 15, 2010.

“The state is aggrieved by the part of the impugned judgement wherein the police has been given direction to conduct inquiry regarding actual and real number of students in the aided schools functioning in the state,” Kerala government in its petition said adding “the direction of the HC is not in terms with the academic atmosphere prevailing in the state.”

The government pointed out that it was a law that police should not enter the premises of any educational institution without prior permission of its head.

“The little children are always afraid of the presence of the police personnel in school campus and their presence in classrooms would frighten the young students. It may even discourage rural students from attending the schools,” the government claimed.

The state government, in fact, sought modification of the order and said the High Court ought to have directed the education department to adopt a fool-proof system to ensure the implementation of the RTE Act in letter and spirit.

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