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However, the Court has refused to pass interim orders, stating that the interrogation of students cannot be stopped.
The Karnataka High Court today issued notice in the PIL filed seeking action against the police for illegally questioning minor students of Shaheen Education Society in Bidar over a play concerning the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) staged last month. (Nayana Jyothi Jhawar v. State of Karnataka)
However, the Court has refused to pass interim orders, stating that the interrogation of students cannot be stopped altogether.
The Bench of Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar directed the state government to file its response in the matter by February 19.
Former Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar appeared on behalf of the Petitioners.
After students of classes 4, 5 and 6 of the school staged a play on the CAA, the State Police authorities filed an FIR against the management of the school based on a compliant filed by one Neelesh Rakshyal.
The main allegation against the school administration was that it facilitated the spreading of false information about the newly passed CAA, spread negative opinions about the Parliament's laws among students by performing anti-national activities and contributed to communal tension.
Headmistress of the school Fareeda Begum as well as the parent of a child has been arrested pursuant to the FIR filed in the matter.
The petition filed by Congress Politician and Advocate Nayana Jyothi Jhawar and the South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) states that the Police authorities questioned about 85 students studying in classes 4-6, thus creating a very hostile environment for students, affecting their education and mental state of mind.
The police questioned the students in uniform and selected students according to their whims and fancies, the petitioners contend.
Further, it is pointed out that the State Child Rights Commission had issued a notice to the police authorities over the reported violation of various child rights during the course of the interrogation. Additionally, the Commission had also written to the Child Welfare Committee regarding the directions issued to the State Police over the incident.
In this backdrop, the petitioners have prayed that the Court direct the Karnataka Police to examine minors in accordance with the provisions of law and further initiate action against the delinquent police personnel. The plea also calls for the payment of compensation to the parents or legal guardians of those students who have been illegally examined in the matter.
As for interim relief, it is prayed that the Court issue directions to restrain the Police officials from carrying out any further questioning or interrogation over the issue.