Throwing the child out of the class can no more be considered as a punishment. Yes you heard that right.
The Delhi Court has rewarded the director and the Principal of a school with a two month jail term today after them causing mental trauma to a seven-year-old student by sending her out of her classroom.
The Court also further claimed that no child could be thrown out of the class on the “whims and fancies” of the school authorities as the trauma of not being allowed to sit in a classroom was “immense”.
Not only this, but the court has also directed OPG World School’s director Kavita Chandra and principal RajwantKaur to pay Rs. 2.5 lakh compensation each to the child, who was asked to leave her class over differences between her parents and the school authorities over an issue.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ankur Jain held them guilty of willfully neglecting the child who was in Class 3 at the time of the incident in 2012 and causing her mental suffering under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act.
However, it allowed the appeal of the convicts to suspend their sentence for a month and grant them a bail to make an appeal against the judgment of the superior Court.
The offence involves a maximum of six months in jail under the old law which, after amendment, has been increased to three years.
The court anyway has refused to accept the version of the school authorities that the child’s parents had asked for a transfer certificate (TC) and instead of collecting it, had sent the girl to school.
“The child cannot be thrown out at the whims and fancies of the school authorities. The theory of the child being not well also cannot be believed as the attendant/nurse from the infirmary was never examined to prove the factum of the child not being well,” the court said.
Advocate Chandra Suman, who was representing the child, expressed satisfaction over the judgment and said it was the first of its kind.
“We are happy. The verdict is the first of its kind. It is the first judgement under the JJ Act where action has been taken against school authorities for mentally harassing a child,” he further added.
An FIR was also lodged in 2012 on a complaint filed by the father and an NGO claiming that the child had been ill-treated and confined by the school management through school hours on April 4, 2012, pressuring the parents to withdraw her from the institution.
The father of the child said that the school acted against her child soon after him questioning on the increase school fees and the accessory charges.
The complaint also contained things about how the child was kept away from her classmates and was wrongly limited to other corners of the school, where there were neither any children, nor any activity.
The principal and the school director reported that the child was admitted to the nursery in 2008, and it’s only after their parents request that a TC was issued on April 23, 2012.
They further said that instead of collecting the certificate, the child was sent to the school. And as she wasn’t feeling “comfortable”, knowing her past history of asthma, she was sent to an infirmary to rest.
The court’s statement was however:
“… the trauma …is immense, once the child goes to school and is not allowed to sit in the classroom. Whatever may be the differences with the parents, the school authorities could not have allowed the child to be neglected.”