The Kerala High Court ruled that no drivers with criminal antecedents should be employed in schools.
When headmaster of a school found that a driver of a school jeep that took students to school had criminal antecedents, he was relieved from duty. The High Court fully justified the action of the headmaster.
It came to the attention of the Headmaster of Government HSS Neervaram in Wayanad, that the driver employed at the school was involved in many criminal cases including rape. The driver was employed to take tribal students to school and back, as part of the scheme introduced by state government.
When driver Praveen was excluded from the duty soon after, he challenged it at the High Court. Dismissing the petition, HC observed that there is no illegality or arbitrariness in the action of the school authority including the Head Master.
The court also said that the objections raised by the people in the locality and other responsible citizens who are concerned with the welfare of the children, cannot be ignored.
The welfare of the children has to be protected. Child abuse, violence against children shocks the conscience of the society. It is always better to take precautionary measures to eliminate any risk foreseen by the stake holders, court observed.
The court emphasised that the action taken by the Headmaster was after taking into account the various factual circumstances and bearing in mind the safety of the tribal students.
During hearing of the case, the driver’s lawyer argued at the court that the rape case against the driver ended in acquittal and that there are no cases pending against him now.
But the government pleader informed the court that the authorities and Headmaster are of the opinion that it is desirable to exclude him from the duty of the driver in view of safety of children. The court fully accepted the submission and dismissed petition of the driver.