Anyone opposing online classes are acting against India, says Bombay HC

Mumbai: In what could be a bad news for students opposing e-learning (online classes) the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday said that if any citizen questions the government decision to encourage e-learning (online classes) then s/he would be basically acting against our nation. The HC made the strong observations while dealing with a PIL pinning holes in the standard operating procedure (SOP) to start online classes.

A bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Shreeram Modak said e-learning would help India become stronger in the field of digital education.

"Today, we are in 21st century where the world is being governed digitally in a greater way and therefore, the SOP which prescribes e-learning and promotes digital and virtual methods of learning cannot but be hailed as a big progressive measure taken by the government in making digital position of India stronger and firmer in the Comity of Nations," Justice Shukre observed.

"If the SOP encourages e-learning, any citizen of India questioning its intentions and purposes would only be acting against the interest and well-being of his own country," the judges held.

The bench further said that if a citizen, however, may come across some issues in effective implementation of the SOP, "For that matter his duty would be to point out the same to the concerned authority, so that necessary corrective measures are taken by the authority," the judges said.

The judges were dealing the petition filed by one Imran Shaikh challenging the June 15 SOPs issued by the government for conducting online classes. The plea claimed the SOPs were irrational.

However, the judges noted the fact that Shaikh did not place on record any material which would point out inherent contradictions, defects and lacunae in the SOPs, "hence there is no case of violation of any fundamental right to education." The judges accordingly ordered Shaikh to approach the relevant authorities "with judicially admissible proof."

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