- Delhi court says a child cannot be thrown out of class
- Convicts face jail-term and fine for willfully neglecting student
- The offense entails a maximum of six months in jail under the old law
New Delhi, July 27, 2017: The Director and Principal of a school were sentenced a two-month jail term by a Delhi court on July 26 for causing mental trauma to a seven-year-old student by keeping her out of the class.
The court has said that a child cannot be thrown out of class as per the “whims and fancies” of school authorities because this can cause “immense” trauma to the child. It also directed OPG World School director Kavitha Chandra and principal Rajwant Kaur to pay a compensation of Rs. 2.5 lakh each to the child, mentioned PTI report.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ankur Jain held the accused guilty of deliberately neglecting the child, who was in class 3 at the time of the incident in 2012, causing her mental distress under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act.
However, the court has accepted the convicts’ plea to suspend their sentence for a month, granting them bail to enable them to file an appeal against the judgment before a superior court.
The offense entails a maximum of six months in jail under the old law, which after the amendment has been increased to three years.
A FIR had been lodged in 2012 following a complaint by the father and an NGO claiming ill-treatment of the child by school management on April 4, 2012, after he had questioned it over an increase in fees and accessory charges. The complaint alleged that the child was incorrectly kept away from her classmates, and confined at places in the school devoid of any children, or activity.
The school authorities, however, claimed that the parents had requested for a transfer certificate (TC), which had been issued on April 23, 2012, and instead of collecting it, the child had been sent to school to attend classes. On claims of not feeling “comfortable”, and knowing her history of asthma, the child was sent to an infirmary to rest.
The court refused to accept this version of the school authorities. “The theory of the child being not well also cannot be believed as the attendant/nurse from the infirmary was never examined to prove the factum of the child not being well”, the court said, further adding that the child bared unnecessary mental suffering by not being allowed to sit in class.
Advocate Chandra Suman, who represented the child, believes this is a first of its kind judgment against school authorities for “mentally harassing a child.
– prepared by Soha Kala for NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala
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