The Madras High Court yesterday issued notices on a PIL filed against conducting online classes by schools and colleges in the state of Tamil Nadu amidst the lockdown, in the absence of requisite schemes and guidelines under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The division bench comprising of Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar issued notices to the Union of India, Union Ministry of Information & Technology, CERT, and other state authorities regarding the same.
The petitionfiled by one Saranya S. stated that conducting online classes in the absence of adequate laws to monitor the material being circulated to the students, is unwarranted and not “congenial” for the purposes of education.
The Petitioner further contended that due to gap in the existing Rules viz., Information Technology Act, 2000 read alongwith the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009, The Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguard for Monitoring and Collecting Traffic Data or Information) Rules 2009, and The Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data of Information) Rules 2011,
“there is no guidelines restricting or checking the material which pops up on the Screen which may not be congenial for the education of the Students, who are constrained to undergo the Online Education.“
Pointing out the matter to be of “larger public importance”, the bench issued notices in the matter of online classes to the respondents and posted the matter for consideration on June 25.
The bench however has not grant any interim relief to the Petitioner for the time being and consequently the schools and colleges may continue to conduct online classes for now.
Saranya S. v. Union of India &Ors.
WP No. 7982/2020
Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar
Senior Advocate S. Prabhakaran with R. Krishnakumar (for Petitioner); Additional Solicitor General G. Rajagopalan assisted by Standing Counsel Venkataswamy Babu (for Union of India); Government Pleader V. Jayaprakash Narayanan (for State); Special Govt. Pleader C. Munusamy (for Education Dept)
Read the order here: