Chennai: The Madras high court declined to entertain a petition which sought to direct the Union and Tamil Nadu state governments to install CCTV cameras in all public, private schools and other educational institutions.
Dismissing the petition filed by M.Kalaichelvi, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice R.Hemalatha said, “The dismissal will not prevent the authorities from taking any decision for the installation of CCTV cameras, if deemed expedient”.
The bench said that orders were sought in the light of reports of incidents of sexual harassment and other forms of harassment of school children. Installation of CCTV cameras may be of some assistance. However, whether installation of CCTV cameras alone can remove the menace of harassment of children is a matter of examination, the bench added.
Pointing out that a similar petition was earlier disposed of by directing the principal secretary, department of school education to take a decision on the representation of the petitioner, the bench said that the Principal Secretary had stated that installation of CCTV cameras in all classrooms and in school premises would be prohibitively expensive.
The bench said the expenditure on installation of CCTV cameras in every educational institution would have to be estimated , in preference to improvement of infrastructure, and acquisition of better equipment, library books etc., was for improvement of the standard of education at the institutions.
“It is therefore, doubtful whether such mandatory orders for installation of CCTV cameras in all educational institutions all over the state can be passed at the instance of one public spirited citizen, without consulting the body of guardians, who would have to pay higher fees for such facilities,” the bench added.