Chennai: The Madras High Court yesterday said there would be no holiday for schools and colleges tomorrow and warned Tamil Nadu government that it would be held responsible for any untoward incident and breakdown of law and order in connection with agitations against the conviction of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa.
“There shall be no holiday on 07.10.2014 and all schools and colleges shall function as usual.
“The state government and its instrumentalities are directed to see that the schools and colleges in Tamil Nadu function smoothly and no untoward incidents shall take place and are also directed to ensure public safety by controlling the law and order situation,” the bench said in its interim order.
“We make it clear that should any untoward incidents take place, the state government will be held responsible,”it said.
Today, the Karnataka High Court will hear Jayalalithaa's plea seeking immediate bail and suspension of her four-year sentence in the disproportionate assets case.
The High Court vacation bench had on October 1 deferred to October 7 hearing on pleas of Jayalalithaa and her close aide Sasikala and her relatives V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, also convicted in the case, to be taken by a regular bench after the end of Dasara vacation.
A Madras High Court division bench, comprising Justices S Vaidyanathan and R Mahadevan, gave the warning to goverment in a special sitting while hearing two petitions filed by R S Bharathi, DMK organizing Secretary and one by K Balu, a lawyer who is also President of Advocates Forum for Social Justice.
The petitions were filed in connection with a circular issued by the Federation of Associations of Private Schools, alleging they were constrained to declare October 7 as a holiday due to ‘political pressure' pursuant to the conviction and imprisonment of Jayalalithaa in an illegal assets case.
Bharati sought to declare the announcement by the Federation to close down schools and colleges tomorrow or any other date as illegal and unlawful and to direct authorities concerned to act against such schools which close down the institutions.
Private schools in the state had earlier in the day withdrawn their decision to remain closed tomorrow in protest against the sentencing of Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case in the wake of strong opposition from different quarters, including politicians and educationists.
Revoking their earlier decision, the Federation said the schools would reopen after Puja holidays tomorrow. It maintained that the decision was withdrawn due to the fact that many schools had scheduled exams tomorrow.
In his second petition, Bharathi sought a direction to the state authorities to prevent demonstrations, fasting, roadside meetings, agitations or passing of resolutions by local bodies allegedly condemning the judiciary.
The petitioner submitted that no school has a right to close the institution without prior permission of competent authority and no right to announce an unscheduled holiday.
He said it was unfortunate that circulars issued by top police officials in connection with the demonstrations by AIADMK spoke of ‘condemning alleged vindictive judgment” .
Showing posters and hoardings which allegedly denigrated the judiciary, he argued that police and state authorities who have to take action were remaining ‘silent spectators'.
Balu in his petition alleged that demonstations were being held on a daily basis by ruling party workers, putting people
to hardship. People were unable to go about their daily chores, he said and sought a direction to stop them.
The bench, after hearing the arguments, passed the interim order and posted the petitions for further hearing to October 8.