HC tells government to decide on school bag weight

HC tells government to decide on school bag weight
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Disposes of contempt petition

Srinagar: The J&K High Court Saturday directed the government ‎to ensure a final view is taken on the issue of heavy school bags and duly implemented, while it also disposed of a contempt petition brought during the proceedings.‎
The division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar directed Secretary to Government, ‎School Education Department to file a status report in this regard. ‎
‎“The decision taken shall be placed before us positively within a period of six weeks from today,” the bench ‎directed. ‎
The court, however, granted liberty to the applicant counsel to seek revival of the contempt petition ‎in case the respondents fail to take a decision within the said period.
‎The contempt petition had aroused of an 2016 order dated passed in a public interest litigation directing the ‎state authorities to consider the representation of the petitioner and take a decision with regard to heavy load of ‎school bags by the children.‎
In a previous contempt petition, the state government constituted an Expert Committee ‎on August 28, 2017 to make recommendation for addressing the issue.
The state counsel had stated that the report of the Expert Committee is under active ‎consideration before the Minister concerned as well as Secretary of the Government, School Education ‎Department, J&K State.‎
The aforesaid contempt petition (CPPIL No. 06/2017) was disposed of with a direction to the state government to ‎address the issue before February 2018 while the noting that the authorities will follow and study the best practices ‎of other States of the country so as to address the issue in this behalf.‎
Previously, High Court had directed State government to decide easing of heavy school bags of school going ‎children.‎
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by a law student of Kashmir University Badrul Duja in 2016 against ‎heavy school bags where High Court had directed government through Commissioner Secretary Education and Director Education, to frame policy within three months.‎
In 2017 contempt of court suit was filed against government by petitioner for not implementing ‎heavy school bags policy. In August 2017 government constituted expert committee who framed their policy for ‎easing heavy school bags.‎