The Madras High Court on Tuesday sentenced two teachers of a government girls’ higher secondary school in Chengalpattu to five and three years of rigorous imprisonment for having sexually harassed many Class XI and XII students in 2012. It expressed regret about its inability in awarding much severe punishment owing to the trial court’s failure to frame charges under stringent provisions of law. After reversing the March 2018 acquittal order of a Mahila Court in Chengelpet, Justice P. Velmurugan said, “unfortunately” the trial court had framed charges under limited provisions of law and he could not convict them beyond those charges without affording them an opportunity of defence. Further, it would not be proper to order retrial in the case at this stage considering the future of the victims

Two teachers sentenced under POCSO
Legal CorrespondentCHENNAI, FEBRUARY 26, 2020 01:27 ISTUPDATED: FEBRUARY 26, 2020 01:27 IST

Acquittal order of Mahila Court reversed
The Madras High Court on Tuesday sentenced two teachers of a government girls’ higher secondary school in Chengalpattu to five and three years of rigorous imprisonment for having sexually harassed many Class XI and XII students in 2012. It expressed regret about its inability in awarding much severe punishment owing to the trial court’s failure to frame charges under stringent provisions of law.

After reversing the March 2018 acquittal order of a Mahila Court in Chengelpet, Justice P. Velmurugan said, “unfortunately” the trial court had framed charges under limited provisions of law and he could not convict them beyond those charges without affording them an opportunity of defence. Further, it would not be proper to order retrial in the case at this stage considering the future of the victims, he said.
The judge pointed out that the convicts G. Nagaraj and G. Pugazhenthi were teaching Chemistry and Physics respectively. They often sexually assaulted girl students by touching their private parts. The students were threatened of being awarded less marks in practical examinations, part of the public examinations, if they divulged the happenings in the school to their parents.
However, one of the girls informed her mother who took the assistance of a local All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) leader to lodge a complaint with the Collector as well as the Superintendent of Police in January 2013. Yet, there was no action and a First Information Report was registered only after the victims and the activists held protests.

Subsequently, they had to stage one more protest to get the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of 2012 included in the FIR.
Though as many as eight students deposed against a judicial magistrate regarding the activities of the two teachers, four turned hostile during the trial. Hence, the Mahila Court acquitted the accused for non examination of all 20 students in the class.
Justice Velmurugan disagreed with the decision of the trial court while allowing an appeal preferred by the complainant through her counsel K.C. Karl Marx. The judge held that the deposition of the four victims clearly proved the guilt of the accused.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Now ButtonCALL ME