HC modifies punishment for physical edu teacher. Justice M Dhandapani observed that the inquiry has been conducted in a fair and proper manner by placing both oral and documentary evidence and the inquiry officer has appreciated all the evidence placed before him before returning a finding of guilt on the petitioner.

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HC modifies punishment for physical edu teacher

Madurai: Observing that a physical education teacher should be a role model to the students, the Madras high court has modified the punishment awarded to a teacher from dismissal from service to compulsory retirement.

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The court was hearing the petition filed by S Andrew Chandra Kumar who was working as a physical education teacher in an aided school in Tuticorin district. In 2009, the authorities imposed a punishment on the petitioner by dismissing him from service after disciplinary inquiry on charges that he did not give proper training to the students and also forcibly entered the headmaster’s room and signed the attendance. The petitioner filed the present petition in 2010 challenging the punishment order.
Justice M Dhandapani observed that the inquiry has been conducted in a fair and proper manner by placing both oral and documentary evidence and the inquiry officer has appreciated all the evidence placed before him before returning a finding of guilt on the petitioner.

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The judge observed that the petitioner, being a physical education teacher has to be a role model to the students, who are to follow his footsteps and he is the pivot around which the students revolve in learning good habits, gaining good character and conduct. However, the act of the petitioner abusing the HM is not only unbecoming of a teacher, and not an acceptable one. It undermines the stature of his position in the eyes of the students, before whom he is projected as their role model.

“Teachers are the backbone of the next generation and unless the teacher inculcates good habits in the minds of the students, who look upon the teacher as their hero, the foundation for the country would greatly stand shaken,” observed the judge.
The judge said that the misconduct committed by the petitioner, in the presence of the other members of staff, teachers and students on the HM cannot be brushed aside without inflicting punishment on the petitioner.
The judge further observed that it is to be pointed out that it is not the case of the authorities that the petitioner is a chronic offender. Taking into account that the petitioner is at the fag end of his service and being aged about 50 years, the judge modified the punishment from dismissal from service to compulsory retirement with a cut of one-third pension for the period upto his normal age of retirement. Beyond the period of his normal age of retirement, the petitioner would be entitled to receive the regular pension due to him, said the judge.

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