A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday observed that there should have separate buildings for females and males in care homes and residential school hostels.

The Bench comprising Justice T.R. Ramachandran Nair and Justice A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai made the observation while dismissing an appeal filed by the two accused in a rape case — Idukki Model Residential School former manager-cum-tutor and a physical education teacher of the school. The prosecution case was that the accused had raped a 12-year-old inmate of the school in 2002.

The court said the institution accommodated teenaged boys and girls. Though female care takers were deployed, their presence was not ensured at night. It said that institutions where large number of elders, adolescents, and children of the same sex were accommodated, care should be taken to provide separate rooms for them. A caretaker or warden of the same sex should be available 24 hours. The visitors or members of opposite sex accommodated in the same institution or even administers of the institution belonging to the opposite sex shall not be allowed into the area. Those who wanted to meet the inmates could be allowed in the visitors room and that too in the presence of the warden.

The accused had a room adjacent to the girl’s hostel of the school. The books, stationary, and other items were also stored in the room. According to the prosecution, the manger-cum-tutor had raped her four times. The accused were awarded life imprisonment and a fine of Rs.50,000.

The Bench while upholding the sentence observed that the facts in the case were a classic example of mismanagement of an institution run by the State.