The Director Public Instruction (DPI) in question pertained to the provision of school buses for the Nava Kerala Sadas, identified as the mass contact programme initiated by the CPM-led Left Democratic Front government. This follows earlier reports highlighting the opulent and extravagant nature of the Nava Kerala Sadas organised by the Pinarayi Vijayan regime and concerns about significant financial expenditures from the public exchequer for the event.
High Court order, in response to the petition filed by the guardian of a student in Kasaragod, reads buses should not be sent for the Nava Kerala Sadas sans its (Court’s) permission. According to reports, the petition says that the Education Department has given strict verbal instructions to teachers and other school staff members to attend Nava Kerala Sadas even on working days. ` The court instructed the government to make clear if the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules permit using school buses for public transport. (It is to be remembered that using the school buses for public transport is illegal in Kerala).
The DPI’s circular asks the school management to hand over buses for Nava Kerala Sadas from November 18 to December 23 if the Organising Committee asks so. The court asked who is this Organising Committee and if their demand can be construed as public demand? The court’s interim order said that school buses are for the security and conveyance of the school children. Government should make it clear if the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules permit to use the school buses for the adults’ conveyance or for non-educational purpose. The court can take a decision with respect to giving the buses for the Nava Kerala Sadas only after getting, from the government, the answers to the questions raised by it (Court).
The petitioner from Kasaragod submitted before the Court that running the buses for the purposes of Nava Kerala Sadas, on working days would adversely affect the smooth conduct of the schools. He made it a point to say that according to the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules, school buses can only be used for educational purposes; hence, the DPI order to give the buses to Nava Kerala Sadas is illegal. The petition will be heard again on November 27.
The latest High Court order is a heavy blow to the Pinarayi Government. It will be an interesting academic study if someone comes up with a list of similar jolts the government had to suffer at the hands of the High Court in the past. People with average memory power cannot do it, because the number is too high to remember.