Chennai

Girl plays truant to keep High Court date

R.B. Adhigai Mutharasi with her lawyer father A.E. Baskaran on Friday.

R.B. Adhigai Mutharasi with her lawyer father A.E. Baskaran on Friday.  

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She complained about lack of infrastructural facilities at her school in Ponneri

Six-year-old R.B. Adhigai Mutharasi, a Class II student, played truant from school on Friday to visit a most bizarre place for kids — the Madras High Court.

The girl walked into the court buildings right royally, and not even the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), guarding the court campus, could prevent her entry, as she was a litigant, and thereby rightfully entitled to follow the proceedings in her case.

What’s more is that the girl had filed the case against the headmistress of her own school — the Minjur Panchayat Union Primary School in Ponneri Taluk of Tiruvallur district — complaining about the lack of infrastructural facilities.

The girl sought for a direction to carry out all repair works in the school buildings, evict encroachments on the school property and keep the institution neat and clean at all times.

On finding the girl wait for long in the litigants’ gallery, along with her lawyer father, Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and R. Hemalatha called her to the dais and had an interesting chat. After asking her name and other details, when the judges wanted to know why she hadn’t gone to school, the uninhibited child did not hesitate to tell the judges that she had bunked her classes to come to court.

Amused by her answer and appreciative of her confidence, the senior judge in the Bench told the little litigant that it was wrong to avoid going to school.

“How will you study well if you don’t go to school regularly. You should not avoid school like this,” the judges told the girl, before she ran back to her father and asked: “Appa (father), is the case over, can we go home now?”

In response to her writ petition, School Education Department officials filed a status report, along with certain photographs, to claim that most of the concerns raised by her had been addressed, and the school was being maintained well. However, the girl’s counsel contested the claim, and contended that the school continued to be in a bad shape, despite having been an institution established way back in 1964.

After advising the officials to take sincere action to rectify the defects pointed out by the petitioner, and not to turn egoistic just because a lawyer had filed the case in the name of his daughter, the judges said if funds were a reason for poor maintenance, then it could be arranged through CSR activities.

After asking the petitioner’s counsel to peruse the status report fully, the judges adjourned the case. “So, should I come back again,” Mutharasi asked her father A.E. Baskaran, who smiled and reminded her of the judge’s advice.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 11:38:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/girl-plays-truant-to-keep-high-court-date/article30538748.ece

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