CUTTACK: The High Court last week directed for quashing the ongoing departmental proceedings and government action against former BJB College teacher Ananga Kumar Mohapatra, who was one of the accused in Richa Mishra suicidal case.

Along with Mohapatra, two other teachers—Durga Prasanna Patnaik and Sahvev Swain were accused of abetting the undergraduate commerce student to commit suicide in November 2005.

The Bench of Justice B.P. Das and Justice B.K.Naik taking up a prayer of Mohaptra, directed the government to quash the action taken by the State higher education department and drop the departmental proceedings against the petitioner.

However, it was not known what would be the fate of the police case against Mohaptra.

Disciplinary action

It may be mentioned here that the High Court in February 2007 had directed the State government to take appropriate disciplinary action against the three teachers whose name figured in the suicidal note of the college student.

Richa, a B. Com student had taken the extreme step allegedly for securing low marks in the examination than she had expected. She had reportedly mentioned in her suicidal note about harassment meted out to her by the three teachers.

Private tuitions

“These teachers had forced me to come for private tuitions but when I refused, they had deliberately given me low marks in the examination for which I am ending my life”, the last note left by Richa for her father had said.

It was revealed that all the three teachers whose names appeared in the suicidal note were found guilty in the enquiry report submitted by the Commissioner of Department of enquiries-cum-additional secretary of the general administration department.

On the basis of this report, the HC had asked to initiate departmental actions against the erring trio, who were placed under suspension immediately after the suicide of the student.

These teachers were also arrested by the police. But after the accused teachers managed to obtain bail and were released from jail, they were reinstated by the government.

Stringent actions

Challenging the reinstatement of the teachers, J. K. Sahu, a practicing advocate of the HC had filed the PIL alleging “double standard” by the State government.

Supporting the PIL, Richa’s father Prasanna Mishra became an intervener in the case and had urged the court for a direction to the State government to take stringent actions against the erring teachers.

The HC also in its 2007 order had came down heavily on the rampant practice of private tuitions given by college teachers asking the government to implement in letter and spirit the numerous government resolutions passed banning private tuitions.