The AP High Court has directed the state government to vacate village/ward secretariats and Rythu Bharosa Kendras from the premises of government schools, saying the presence of these could result in a spread of the Coronavirus.
A single judge bench of Justice Battu Devanand heard the case on Tuesday and asked the state government as to how it could allow reopening of schools at a time when Coronavirus was still spreading. “Who was behind such a decision,” he asked, and observed that it would not be enough to sit in the secretariat and issue orders.
The court wondered as to who would take responsibility if the students are infected with the virus. The court criticised officials for taking this as a prestige issue and reopening schools while ignoring the safety of the students. How appropriate it could be to reopen schools without giving the jab to the students and their parents, it asked, and said it would not be sufficient to give the jab only to the teachers.
Seven senior IAS officers including panchayat raj principal secretary GK Dwivedi, its commissioner Girijasankar, school education principal secretary Rajasekhar, its commissioner Chinna Veerabhadrudu, municipal administration principal secretary Shyalama Rao, its former director Vijaykumar and present director MM Naik appeared in the court in the contempt of court case.
Officials’ counsel Jaganmohan Reddy and government pleader for education, Raghuveer, argued that the state government had already issued an order to get the secretariats and RBKs in government schools premises vacated.
At several premises of schools, such facilities were already withdrawn, they said. School education principal secretary Rajasekhar said they had identified 1,160 schools having secretariats and RBKs in their premises. They withdrew such facilities in 450 schools and would do so in the remaining schools shortly.
The court directed the officials to file affidavits and posted the case for the next hearing to Oct. 1.