In the PIL filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding seeking immediate ban on online classes for primary schools during COVID-19 pandemic as online classes are causing harm to children, especially to those in pre-primary classes. The state of Haryana has assured the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it will decide on the guidelines for the online classes of schools. The HC observed in the view of the statement that the petition shall stands disposed of.
As per the facts of the case, a PIL was filed by Saurabh Rajput a resident of the Gurgaon that the children from pre-nursery till class 5th are being exposed to a lot of screen time, which is affecting their health as a result students have started complaining of headache and irritation in the eyes, the online classes appear to have been potentially destructive effect rather than being constructive for the children.The petitioner further submitted that to redress the grievances they would file a representation before the respondent authorities (school education department, Haryana). The counsel appearing for the state of Haryana submitted that the representation so filed by the petitioner shall be considered and will be decided expeditiously. Therefore the HC in the light of statement advanced observed that the petition stands disposed of.
Public interest litigation is not defined in any statute or in any act. It has been interpreted by judges to consider the intent of public at large. In Indian law, PIL means litigation for the protection of public interest. It is litigation introduced in a court of law through article 32 and article 226 before SC and HC respectively, not by the aggrieved party but by the court itself or by any other private party. Public Interest Litigation is the power given to the public by courts through judicial activism.The rule of locus standi have been relaxed and a person acting bonafide and having sufficient interest in the proceeding of Public Interest Litigation will alone have a locus standi and can approach the court to wipe out violation of fundamental rights and genuine infraction of statutory provisions, but not for personal gain or private profit or political motive or any oblique consideration.
In the present case the PIL is filed for the benefit of the children as they are being exposed to a lot of the screen time, which is affecting their health. Right to health has not been given explicit recognition but the apex court in the case of “Bandhua Mukti Morcha v Union of India” interpreted the right to health under Article 21 which guarantees the right to life. Therefore petition filed is dealing with some serious issue which requires the ban on online classes. The petitioner also stated that many parents who are working from home needs to provide their children laptop and uninterrupted internet connectivity hence they need to adjust in their work. It is difficult during this time to have wages as many people have lost their job due to the pandemic therefore this online studies is creating more pressure over the parents. Therefore this is needed to be considered.
As per the current situation many states have stopped online classes for nursery till class 5th after receiving complaints from parents. Therefore after the petitioner will file its grievances before the respondent authorities and as per the assurance given by the state govt. to the HC that the grievances so filed will be considered and decided expeditiously the HC observed that till then petition shall stands disposed of.
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This post is written by Abhishek Sharma.
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