Patna District Magistrate Defies State Directive, Orders School Closure Due To Extreme Cold – News18

On Tuesday, Patna recorded a minimum temperature of 7.2 degrees Celsius.

Due to intense cold conditions in Bihar’s Patna, the district magistrate on Tuesday ordered all schools till class 8, private and government, to remain shut till Thursday.

The entire north India is shivering due to the extreme cold spells. Due to intense cold conditions in Bihar’s Patna, the district magistrate on Tuesday ordered all schools till class 8, private and government, including pre-schools, Anganwadi centres and coaching centres in the state’s capital to remain shut till Thursday.

On Tuesday, Patna recorded a minimum temperature of 7.2 degrees Celsius. On Monday, it recorded the lowest of the season at 5.1 degrees Celsius. Bihar’s Banka recorded 3.7 degrees on Tuesday as per the Meteorology department. As per the order issued by the District Magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh, “Any violation of the order shall attract punishment under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.” The District Magistrate disregarded the directive which was issued by the director of the Bihar education department which had initially instructed the District Education Officer (DEO) to ensure schools remain operational.

On Monday, the director sent out a letter to the DEO claiming that the Patna DM did not seek permission from the education department before ordering the schools to shut down for two days. KK Pathak, Additional Chief Secretary of the state education department on January 20 had asked officials to take permission from the education department before ordering closure of schools.

However, Chandrashekhar Singh responded to the director’s letter on the same day by claiming that it was within his powers and jurisdiction as the District Magistrate to order the closure of the schools due to the intense cold and low temperatures that posed health risks for students. According to him, he had issued the closure of the schools under section 144 of the CrPC, 1973 which is vested upon him as the DM. In his letter, he mentioned that there was no provision in the CrPC to take permission from the department and no non-judicial order or letter could override it.

On Tuesday, January 23, 2024, Kanhaiya Prasad Srivastava, Director of Secondary Education issued a three-page letter and disregarded all the points raised by Patna DM. He also claimed that the practice of closing schools under CrPC 144 should be “abolished”. All teachers and students have been notified to attend school now.

A few days back, a 10-year-old student from Muzaffarpur Public School died in the Muzaffarpur district and the family members blamed the extreme cold weather for it. However, the authorities did not confirm this.