'Guidelines issued to stop corporal punishment in schools'
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
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.