HC refuses to quash POCSO case against teacher for shaming child in class

High Court of Karnataka. File

High Court of Karnataka. File | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

The High Court of Karnataka has declined to interfere with criminal proceedings initiated against a woman teacher for punishing a five-year-old girl child by pulling down her pants in front of other children in nursery class of a private school in Bengaluru.

Observing that “traumatising children at a tender age by teachers as a measure of punishment would have a devastating psychological impact on the child,” the court said that “such act, unless proven otherwise by the petitioner in a full blown trial, is undoubtedly uncouth, unpardonable and unbecoming for a teacher who deals with a girl child of the age of five.”

Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order recently while rejecting a petition filed by 41-year-old teacher, who had questioned the chargesheet filed against her based on the complaint lodged by the victim child’s mother in 2017 in Ulsoor police station.

Mother’s complaint

The child’s mother had complained that the accused-teacher was initially beating the child. After the parents objected to such conduct, the teacher started pulling down pants of children as punishment and making other children of class to taunt him/her. It was also alleged that children were threatened by saying that they would be locked in a dark room where a dog is kept.

The complainant had also alleged that her daughter was locked in a dark room for about two minutes as punishment. The trial court had recorded the child’s statement, which matched the allegations made in the complaint.

The court pointed out that the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, states that a person, who makes the child exhibit his/her body or any part of his or her body so as it is seen by any other person, to be punishable for sexual harassment.

Impact on child

“Children who experience aggressive behaviour or violence from the hands of a teacher often develop emotional and behavioural problems; their cognitive skills diminish and would have far reaching consequences in the psychological blend of a child and would negatively impact the academic performance of the child. The aggression of whatever means of any teacher on the child is unpardonable,” the court observed.

Justice Nagaprasanna also observed, “It must be remembered, ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ has metamorphosed into ‘spare the rod and teach the child”.

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Printable version | Aug 25, 2022 3:49:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hc-refuses-to-quash-pocso-case-against-teacher-for-shaming-child-in-class/article65754546.ece