27 Jun 2023 9:04 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has dismissed the petition filed by the Principal and others officials of a school in Kodagu district, challenging the order of the Magistrate court rejecting the ‘B summary report’ filed by the police in relation to alleged abetment to suicide of a student.The "mischievous" student was suspended for allegedly carrying alcohol to school. Upon his parent's request,...
The Karnataka High Court has dismissed the petition filed by the Principal and others officials of a school in Kodagu district, challenging the order of the Magistrate court rejecting the ‘B summary report’ filed by the police in relation to alleged abetment to suicide of a student.
The "mischievous" student was suspended for allegedly carrying alcohol to school. Upon his parent's request, he was allowed to appear for examinations online from his home. However, it is alleged that the student kept waiting for exam link but did not receive the same. After the exam and answer sheet collection time got over, he committed suicide, the complaint states.
It is in this backdrop that a single bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna observed that the boy was in communication with the school even up to 15 minutes before his death. "Thus, there is proximity with the commission of suicide. Therefore, prima facie, the ingredients of Section 107 of the IPC are met, which would become an offence under Section 305 of the IPC. Whether it is instigation, goading or otherwise are all a matter of trial,” it held.
The Magistrate court has taken cognizance of offences under sections 305, 499 r/w 34 of the IPC. The High Court said,
The bench also suggested to schools which are inculcating harsh discipline to think of a paradigm shift, so that the lives of young souls, who do not have the capacity to think of the consequences of any action sometimes may lead to devastating steps.
“It is in public domain that harsh discipline is closely linked to internalizing mental problems of a child and lowering the child’s cognitive functioning and school performance...Educational Institutions have to recognize this malady of over/harsh discipline and remedy the wrong in a different manner, so that the lives of young souls would be saved...The institutions should recognize that the age-old principles have now changed, I mean “spare the rod and spoil the child” has metamorphosed into “spare the rod and teach the child.”"
The petitioners contended that the deceased 15-year-old boy was a mischievous child and, therefore, had to be counselled. They contended that the child was suspended in the normal course of inculcating discipline and no fault can be found with them as they neither instigated nor goaded for the act of the boy.
The bench perused the written apology tendered by the student and noted that it does not inspire confidence as the way it was written would indicate that it was written on the dictation of someone else. "It is later the parents are summoned to the school and are said to have been counselled,” Court noted.
Referring to the counsellors report generated three days after the boy's death, the bench said “It is rather unfortunate that the school after the death of the boy, uses the death of the boy to draw up a report which shows the boy in such poor light, to shift the blame upon the boy. There cannot be any better generation of uncouth attitude on the part of the educational institution.”
Upholding the magistrate court order rejecting the B report the court said “Every submission made by the learned senior counsel on the strength of documents appended to the criminal petition are all generated after the death of the boy or all are farther from truth. The falsity noted is not in thin air, but on the strength of documents. Therefore, this is not a case where there is neither instigation nor provocation. It is a case which has both, albeit, prima facie.”
Accordingly it dismissed the petition.
Case Title: Mrs Gauramma & Others And State of Karnataka & ANR
Case NO: CRIMINAL PETITION No.4725 OF 2023
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 240
Date of Order: 26-06-2023
Appearance: Senior Advocate P P Hegde a/w Advocate Advocate Venkatesh Somareddi for petitioners.
HCGP Mahesh Shetty for R1.
Advocate C Prashanth Chinnappa for R2.
Click Here To Read/Download Order