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Supreme Court slams Centre for not coming up with safety guidelines for schools

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Union government for not coming up with guidelines on disaster management to make schools safer even after the death of a large number of children in fire incidents in Dabwali and Kumbakonam.

The apex court asked the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to file its response by 14 August.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

"Your affidavit goes round and round but does not say in explicit way what needs to be done. So many years have gone by but still there are no guidelines," a bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud said.

It said that Centre has to say in clear terms whether it wants to do it or not.

"Please give us guidelines and we will pass orders. You tell us nothing, there is nothing to hide. We want states to be alive to the situation," the court said.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Union government, said the NDMA and state and district level disaster management authorities look after disaster related incidents.

"Tell them to file their response by 14 August," the court said, adding there should be focus on implementation as just framing guidelines will not suffice.

"Responsiblity should also be fixed if there is dereliction (of duty)," it said.

Earlier, the apex court had criticised the central government for treating court orders with disdain by not taking action on its order passed last year.

A PIL has been filed by and individual Avinash Mehrotra seeking safety guidelines for school after the Dabwali fire incident in Haryana and the Kumbakonam tragedy in Tamil Nadu.

The court had earlier asked the NDMA to come up with comprehensive guidelines to prevent such incidents and take measures for safety of school children.

Updated Date: Aug 12, 2017 10:24 AM

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