OLD STUDENTS ASSOCIATION Vs. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
LAWS(APH)-2019-3-138
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on March 27,2019

Old Students Association Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH Respondents




JUDGEMENT

M. Satyanarayana Murthy, J. - (1.)A Registered Old Students Association, Post Graduate College, Osmania University, represented by its General Secretary - Sri A. Ramakrishna filed this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, as a public spirited person and resorted to this pro bono litigation seeking writ of Mandamus to the official respondents to declare their acts of involving school children in rallies, gathering of any kind during school timings and on weekends as a form of captive audience, as illegal and unconstitutional.
(2.)The petitioner claiming to be a public spirited person having no direct interest in the litigation, filed this petition to protect the rights and interest of school children across the State, alleging that the Government of Andhra Pradesh has belatedly realized the value of public participation in dealing with recurring social problems. Unfortunately it has also grasped the political advantages of mobilizing the public for a good non-political cause and then finally portraying the enthusiastic public response towards said non-political cause as an endorsement of the government's policies and politics, irrespective of how unpopular they may be in reality. Often, a non-political gathering by citizens to raise awareness of any certain social evil or problem is hijacked by the ruling party's workers who promptly give the gathering a political colour. Certain elements of the media are then used to propagate the fallacy that common people are gathering to support the government's policies, no matter how illogical or against the public interest it may be.
(3.)The Government of Andhra Pradesh has started a new trend of mobilizing school children for rallies and public marches which are often co-ordinated by the teachers and school staff with the ruling party's workers. These rallies and marches are often conducted during school hours in the middle of the day, which results in school children being required by their teachers and school management to skip classes and march on the roads, chanting slogans and engaging in activities normally done by seasoned political party workers. Often, the school children and teachers have to cope with the extra burden of making up for lost school time, while the government has immorally gained political mileage and media exposure for their policies by using school children as a sort of hired mob and captive audience.
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