The principal and three teachers of the La Martiniere for Boys School here were arrested on Monday on charges related to corporal punishment meted out to a student, who committed suicide in February this year.

However, the charge of abetment to suicide was not brought against them.

Principal Sunirmal Chakravarthi and the three teachers were arrested in the early hours and produced in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R.R. Chakroborti. They were granted bail on a security of Rs.500 each.

“We had spoken to 82 witnesses but could not establish the charge of abetment to suicide,” said Damayanti Sen, Joint Commissioner of Police in the detective department.

In the charge sheet filed by the police, all the four have been charged under Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986. In addition, Mr. Chakravarthi has been charged under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means). L.G. Gunion, head of the middle school, and another teacher, David Ryon, were charged under other IPC sections.

The February 12 suicide by the class VII student snowballed into a major controversy in June after his father filed a police complaint alleging that corporal punishment and torture by Mr. Chakravarthi and the teachers had driven his son to suicide.

Amit Bhattacharjee, counsel for the student's father, who was present in the court, expressed dissatisfaction that the accused were not charged under Section 305 of the IPC (abetment to suicide by child or insane person).