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HC notice to state govt on school girl's death by snakebite


Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday initiated proceedings on its own based on the death of a girl student of a government school in Wayanad due to snakebite sustained in her classroom on November 20.

A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Anu Sivaraman issued notice to the state chief secretary and secretaries of general education, local self-government and health and family welfare.

The notice was issued after considering a report submitted by Principal District judge, Wayanad district, and two separate letters from Justice C K Abdul Rahim and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar requesting to register the letters as writ petitions on the incident.

The Chief Justice directed the registry to put out the letter from Justice Nambiar as a public interest litigation.

In his report, the Principal District Judge, who is also the chairman of the Wayanad District Legal Services Authority, had indicated that the class V student of the Government Sarvajana Vocational Higher Secondary School, Sulthan Bathery, Shehla Sherin, aged nine-and-a-half-year-old, died of snakebite sustained in the classroom while attending classes.

During his inspection of the school, the Principal District Judge noticed several holes in the classroom as well as in the compound outside the building.

"Thick bushes and weeds were seen within the compound.

There was a pond full of dirty water, waste paper and other materials," his report said.

It said the toilets were found in the most unhygienic condition with broken closets and kept opened and was easily accessible to the public.

The assistant engineer of the local self-government department, Sulthan Bathery, had issued fitness certificate to the school on May 20 this year, without noticing any defects, it said.

The report said there were no records available in the school indicating that any authority of the education department had conducted inspection in the school, as mandated in the Kerala Education Rules.

No training was provided to the teachers to administer first aid.

The authorities of the local body are also not bestowing any attention in maintaining cleanliness of the institution and its premises, the district judge said in his report.

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News Summary - HC notice to state govt on school girl's death by snakebite
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