New Delhi, July 12 : Rocked by a series of macabre episodes of child abuse in the Capital, the Arvind Kejriwal government's plans for stepped up vigil in schools were given the green signal from the Supreme Court on Friday.
Later, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, 'CCTV in schools is extremely important to ensure the safety of students and bring transparency and accountability in the system. However, certain forces are trying to scuttle it right from the beginning. We are grateful to Hon’ble SC for refusing to stay the process.' In a statement, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia said that he had already received numerous queries about the Delhi government’s important project to install CCTVs in government schools.
'At the outset I want to unambiguously state that I have been extremely pained at the motivated allegations and uninformed campaign in some sections about this project.'
In September last year, this project was challenged before the Delhi High Court, Mr Sisodia said, questioning why cynics were trying to create a hue and cry about the installation of CCTVs in classrooms.
Safety and security of students in schools and transparency in imparting education plays an extremely important role, he said, adding that educational reforms formed one of the priorities of the Delhi Government.
He cited the September 2017 circular issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education to its affiliated schools directing that all necessary steps be taken to ensure safety and security of students.
Schools were directed to install CCTV cameras at all vulnerable points of their premises and also to make sure that the cameras are up and running all the time.
This was following some unfortunate incidents, which included the murder of a seven year-old boy inside a school premises, and earlier a government school teacher was murdered inside a government school. 'I am making it clear that the feed of classrooms will only be made available to parents, who will be able to access it after getting a secure password for a smart-phone for a limited period of time daily without any audio.
Teachers, parents and students are happy with this latest initiative and our government will prove the skeptics wrong once again like it has done repeatedly on its initiatives in the field of education,' Mr Sisodia said.
The apex court declined to stay the streaming of footage from CCTVs which were being installed in Delhi government schools and classrooms.
A Delhi-based student, in her petition, claimed no permission was taken from the students and the closed circuit cameras would violate their right to privacy. The petitioner questioned the need for installation of CCTVs which violate the rights to privacy of students.
She sought a direction and guidelines on the installation of the CCTV cameras in and around the schools and classrooms. "We are not inclined to entertain the petition. The petition is devoid of merit. Accordingly we dismiss it,"ruled the three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Deepak Gupta.(UNI )