Delhi HC to hear on Oct 15 plea to protect school kids from sexual abuse

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said it will hear on October 15 a plea seeking direction to the Centre to lay down norms to prevent sexual abuse of school-going children in the national capital.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said it will hear on October 15 a plea seeking direction to the Centre to lay down norms to prevent sexual abuse of school-going children in the national capital.

A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul said the matter will be heard along with the main petition dealing with eve-teasing as well as other crimes against women and asked the city government to "take note and come out with answers on the next date".

The application by social activist Nandita Dhar has stated that "safety of the school-going children of the national capital is at stake and despite the fact that similar offences against them are committed on a regular basis, the silence of the government and the public authorities is questionable".

The plea, filed through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, has highlighted recent incidents of abuse of school-going kids by drivers of cabs and buses they travel in and has sought laying down of directives to "prevent the sexual abuse" of these children.

Dhar has also given suggestions, including the need for "all school buses and school vans to be equipped with GPS system and CCTV cameras", to prevent abuse of children.

"A lady teacher or employee must be present with the school cab driver until and unless all the children get down. Private school cabs hired by the parents must be registered with the school as well as the police authorities and a lady assistant must accompany the said cab," the petition has said.

It has also said that the vehicle drivers be restrained from any kind interaction with children during and after school hours.

"All schools must have an SMS-alert facility about the pick up and drop of students, and reveal information about the persons who come to pick the students....Schools must organise a weekly seminar or a programme to educate the kids regarding the sexual abuse/harassment," it has said.

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