`Guidelines issued to stop corporal punishment in schools`
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Last Updated: Friday, November 26, 2010, 21:43
Kolkata: Days after a court ordered trial of the principal of La Martiniere School for alleged abetment to suicide of a student, West Bengal government on Friday informed the Calcutta High Court that it had issued guidelines to prohibit corporal punishment in schools.

In view of the Court's unhappiness over the government's poor response to the issue and its direction, school education secretary Vikram Sen was personally present before a division bench comprising Chief Justice J N Patel and Justice Asim Ray which is acting on a PIL seeking steps to stop corporal punishment in schools.

On the court's earlier direction that it submit an affidavit on steps taken in the matter, the government submitted a copy of an extraordinary gazette notification (Dated November 24) to set up a 16-member state-level committee and 11-member district committee for each district.

The government submitted that three committees were being formed for ensuring that students were not subjected to physical punishment and mental harassment in schools.

While the state-level committee would be headed by the Director of school education with the President of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and Secretary of the state legal aid committee among its members, the district level would be chaired by district magistrates.

The Kolkata district level committee would be headed by the joint-director, directorate of school education.

The bench directed the state education department to submit a report on steps it had taken against erring teachers on January 21, when the matter would be taken up for hearing again.

The Metropolitan Magistrate Court here on November 19 had directed that principal Sunirmal Chakravarti and teachers Garnian, Partho Dutta and David Raun of La Martiniere School for Boys, accused in the Rouvanjit Rawla suicide case, be tried for abetment to suicide.

The four would be tried under Section 305 (abetment to suicide), Section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and Section 34 (common intention) of the IPC in the trial beginning before a sessions judge on December 14.

They had been arrested for the February 12 suicide of the Class VII student, but were later given bail.

The case had been filed by Ajay Rawla, the student's father four months after the death of his son under Section 305 of the IPC.

Rouvanjit was found hanging in his room at his residence on February 12, four days after being allegedly caned by the principal for misbehaviour and disobedience.


First Published: Friday, November 26, 2010, 21:43

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