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SC pulls up Delhi government after children asked to attend schools amid high pollution levels

The Supreme Court on Thursday reprimanded the Delhi government for reopening schools for children amid the high pollution rate in the state while asking its employees to work from home. While issuing a 24-hour deadline to the Delhi government and the Centre government, the Supreme Court said that they should come up with a plan of real action within the said deadline to control the pollution or to shut the schools for children.

From November 29, the government has allowed schools to reopen the physical classes in Delhi, while most of the schools are now holding offline exams for the students. However, this is the time when the pollution level in the city has reached alarmingly worst and raising health concerns for the children.

On Thursday, the air-quality in the national capital went into the ‘severe category’ against Wednesday’s ‘very poor’. According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s website, the air-quality index (AQI) of Delhi was monitored at 416 at 7 AM on Thursday, while the average 24-hour AQI of the city was recorded as 370 on Wednesday.

Chief Justice NV Ramana, while hearing a case related to Delhi‘s air pollution, said that why are elders working from home and children have been asked to go to school in the morning in fog. He added that the representatives from the state government had said that schools are closed, but the Supreme Court knows that children are going to school.

The Supreme Court also said that even though the air pollution level is rising in Delhi, the government is making little effort to control it.

While defending the Delhi government’s decision, senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi said that only those parents, who are willing, are sending their kids to school. “If the apex court says, we will again shut down the offline classes in the school”, Singhvi said.

While responding to this, the Chief Justice said that if the government is allowing others to go out, then who will want to stay at home. Hence, you are the government, and you will have to take the necessary action, the CJI said.

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