Ryan International murder case: CBSE issues show-cause notice to school, says death could have been averted

The Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) on Saturday issued a show-cause notice to the Bhondsi branch of Ryan International School in Gurugram, giving it 15 days to reply as to why its affiliation should not be withdrawn.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The de-affiliation notice was sent based on the board's two-member panel report formed to investigate the death of seven-year-old Pradhyuman Thakur in the school washroom on 8 September. The fact-finding committee submitted its report on Friday. In its show-cause notice, CBSE noted that the boy's death could have been averted had school authorities discharged their duties with responsibility, care and sincerity.

"The unfortunate death could have been averted had the school authorities discharged their duty with responsibility, care and security. The school failed to observe the basic security measures as stipulated by the board," stated the report.

"From the entire sequence of events it appears that the school is guilty of gross negligence and failed to ensure safety and security of students in its schools," the notice said.

The probe panel said the school had no provision of toilets for drivers, conductors and cleaners and they were using the facilities meant for students and staff.

The CBSE notice also pointed out a safety breach in the school boundary wall (covered with barbed wires) which, the committee observed, is a threat to children's safety as anybody can enter the campus.

The panel noted the insufficient number of CCTV cameras and said most of the installed cameras did not work.

"School failed to discharge its responsibility to file an FIR and inform the district education officer and CBSE after knowing the incident," the board said, adding that the FIR was subsequently filed by a parent.

The fact-finding panel included Y Arun Kumar, deputy commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, regional office Agra, and Kailash Chand, principal, Government Co-ed Senior Secondary School, Preet Vihar, reported The Indian Express.

The notice comes a day after Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the probe.

Khattar visited the Thakur residence on Friday and met the grieving parents. Speaking to reporters outside their residence, he condemned the incident and said the CBI will take over the investigation from the Haryana Police.

The chief minister also said that the Haryana government will take over the management of the Ryan International School in Gurugram for the next three months.

A day earlier, the Gurugram Police had detained the school's gardener, Harpal Singh, a key witness in the murder of Pradhyuman, and said it's "likely" to arrest more persons. The gardener was detained by the police's special investigation team (SIT) probing the case.

On 12 September, CBSE issued a fresh set of guidelines to all its affiliated schools on the safety of children.

The CBSE circular, published on the official website of the board, states that school authorities are solely responsible for the safety and security of children on campus, calling it a Fundamental Right of the child to "engage and study in an environment where he/she feels safe and is free from any form of physical or emotional abuse or harassment". The circular also stated that CBSE-affiliated schools will have to comply with the new guidelines within two months from notification.

The Delhi government's transport department on Friday impounded 250 school buses, including 10 of Ryan International Group of Institutions, during its ongoing drive against errant school vehicles, a senior government official said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Sep 17, 2017 09:08 AM

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