Schools shut “till further orders”
New Delhi, Dec. 2 (Delhi Crown): All schools in Delhi were shut with effect from Friday (Dec 3) “till further orders” after the Supreme Court rapped the Delhi government for reopening the schools amid rising air pollution levels.
During a hearing on air pollution, the Supreme Court of India on Thursday expressed its disapproval of the Delhi Government’s decision to reopen schools amidst the ongoing pollution crisis in the national capital.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana and Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant called out the Delhi Government for reopening schools even after having told the court before that schools have been closed and work from home has been introduced for employees.
The Bench also expressed concerns towards the health of children as young as 3-4 years old who were going to school early morning when the National Capital was enveloped in fog.
“One thing you told us was schools have been closed. But schools are not closed. Small children of 3-4 years have to go to schools in the morning in fog and bad conditions. There’s no respect? See today’s paper. Children are going. I know children who’re going to school,” said the SC bench.
CJI remarked – “Everything we need not tell you. We respect you. You’ve introduced work from home. So the elders have to work from home and the children have to go to school?”
Addressing Senior Advocate A.M. Singhvi appearing for the Delhi Government, Chief Justice of India said, “We take your statements in Court seriously and that in letter and spirit they will be implemented.”
Singhvi informed the Apex Court that schools were closed by the Delhi Government. However, from November 26, schools were opened with the condition that only willing parents will send their children to schools and the option of online classes has been provided to the rest.
Singhvi stated that if the Bench is saying that schools have to be closed, the same will be done.
The Bench responded by saying that it is for the Government to take the action.
“Don’t use our shoulder. You are Governments, you have to take action,” CJI added.
CJI Ramana further stated “You are saying whoever wants to come can come, and if you want to stay at home then stay. If you give option, everyone will come, who wants to stay at home. You have to take a call. What you want to do. Don’t tell us we have to take a call.”