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Shocking That Children In This Country Are Till Date Being Subjected To Sadistic & Inhumane Culture Of Corporal Punishment: Madras High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesShocking That Children In This Country Are Till Date Being Subjected To Sadistic & Inhumane Culture Of Corporal Punishment: Madras High Court Akshita Saxena6 March 2021 1:56 AMShare This – x”Despite the legislative framework that by all means seek to eliminate corporal punishment, the practice has been persistently followed by schools and institutions across the country,” observed the Madras High Court on Thursday. The observation was made in a case arising out of the death of a school child whilst he was being subjected to corporal punishment for arriving…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?Login”Despite the legislative framework that by all means seek to eliminate corporal punishment, the practice has been persistently followed by schools and institutions across the country,” observed the Madras High Court on Thursday. The observation was made in a case arising out of the death of a school child whilst he was being subjected to corporal punishment for arriving late. Whereas the medical report indicated that the death occurred due to natural reasons, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh said that it is important to address this sadistic and inhumane culture of corporal punishment. At the outset, the Judge referred to a series of research in the field, revealing that the outcomes of corporal punishment can be severely negative inasmuch as it can encourage violence in children and may even cause immense psychological damage to a child. It then referred to the following legislative frameworks, that prohibit inflicting of corporal punishment: 1. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Articles 3, 18 and 36 of the Convention deal with parental and adult responsibility in the private sphere and the right to protection from exploitation. Article 19 provides for measures to protect children against all forms of physical abuse and imposes an obligation on member states to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse. India ratified the UNCRC in 1992. 2. Constitution of India Article 21 of the Constitution protects the right to life and the same has been modified by way of insertion of Article 21A to include the right to education for children under 14 years of age, and the right to life with dignity. It follows therefore, that corporal punishment amounts to abuse and militates against the freedom and dignity of a child. It also interferes with a child’s right to education because fear of corporal punishment makes children more likely to avoid school or to drop out altogether. Articles 14, 15 (3), 39 (e) and (f) of the Constitution, guarantee equality and protection directing states to work progressively to protect children from abuse 3. Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 Under the RCFCE Act, corporal punishment is violative of the right of the child to education, as well as the right to life with dignity. According to the Section 17 of the RCFCE Act, ‘no child shall be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment’. 4. National Policy for Children, 2013 Adopted in April 2013, the Policy provides for protection of children from “all forms of violence” but specifically refers to corporal punishment only in connection with education ie. in schools. The 2013 policy, in Paragraph 4.6(xv), states that in education, the state shall “ensure no child is subjected to any physical punishment or mental harassment” and “promote positive engagement to impart discipline so as to provide children with a good learning experience”. 5. Tamil Nadu Education Rules: Rule 51 therein legally protects children from corporal punishment. Inter alia, the Bench referred to a letter written by the the Ministry of Human Resource Development, to all State governments in March 2014, asking them to abolish the practice of corporal punishment in all educational institutions. Furthermore, it referred to a judgement of the Delhi High Court in Parents Forum For Meaningful Education & Anr. v. Union of India & Anr., 2001 (57) DRJ 456 (DB), where it struck down Rule 37(1)(a)(in) and (4) of the Delhi School Education Rules, 1973, which gave a legal sanction for corporal punishment, as being violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Awareness among physical training staff In the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court noted that the children in this case were asked to perform duck walk on the School ground as a punishment for arriving late Stating that many research and studies show that duck walk, though was once an exercise employed in discipline and fitness regimes, in fact makes knee joints more vulnerable to injury. In this backdrop, it stressed upon the importance and nature of responsibility of the physical training staffs of schools. It observed, “The present case is a classic example and a reminder that physical trainers and teachers are duty bound to keep themselves updated and informed about the scientific developments and associated research findings that may have a direct impact on the way they impart physical training to persons who may not have specialised knowledge or awareness on the subject Any professional is left with no option but to constantly update themselves with the advancements in their own fields and physical trainers are no exception to this rule. Infact, 25 they are required to have a higher threshold of responsibility and caution in doing so, as their instructions and knowledge or the lack of it, as the case may be, has the potency to directly affect the physical health of their trainees, and therefore, the same cannot be brushed aside as a trivial issue.” Background The Bench was presiding over a Criminal Original Petition filed by the three accused— the physical training teacher, Headmaster and Correspondent of the School— for quashing of FIR registered against them for offences under Section 304A of IPC r/w Section 75 of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The main ground that was urged on the side of the Petitioners was that it was an unfortunate incident and that the same was not a result of any rash or negligent act. They relied on a Postmortem Report wherein the doctor had given a final opinion to the effect that the death was due to natural cause and no exact cause of death can be opined. The Bench concurred that a case under Section 304A is not made out against the Petitioners and hence, no legal obligation arises. “In order to sustain a charge under Section 304 A of IPC, there must be some material to show that there was an overt act on the part of the accused persons and there is a proximity between the act of the accused and the cause of death. In other words, the act of the accused persons must be the causa causans for the death,” it observed. However, the Bench deemed it fit to invoke the Petitioners’ moral obligation to at least pay a monetary compensation to the bereaved family. It thus directed the Petitioners to pay a sum of Rs.10,00,000/- to the Respondents. It said, “A victim or survivor of crime can never be put back in a place where they were before the happening of such event. Therefore, the simple underlying theory behind the criminal justice system is to teach a lesson to the perpetrator and the society so as to prevent the commission of such crimes and to help the victim heal from their trauma by giving them closure. This Court therefore, is interested only to give this 2nd respondent, who is the father of the victim child, closure on this matter, instead of allowing this to invade his memories, only putting the family through continued trauma and despair.” Case Title: S. Jai Singh & Ors. v. State & Anr. Click Here To Download Order Read OrderSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

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