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.