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Updated January 30th, 2024 at 09:06 IST

Is Scolding a Student an Offence? Madhya Pradesh HC Delivers Big Verdict on Class 12 Student Suicide

The court, while acknowledging the tragedy, also underscored the importance of assessing the responsibility of the teachers involved.

Moumita Mukherjee
Is scolding student an offence? Madhya Pradesh HC's big verdict
Is scolding student an offence? Madhya Pradesh HC's big verdict | Image:PTI/File/Representative
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Gwalior: In a recent ruling, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has clarified that a teacher's disciplinary action to correct a student's behaviour does not fall within the scope of abetment to commit suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The court stressed on the fact that informal social controls, such as reprimanding students for course correction, do not constitute abetment or instigation, as outlined in Section 107 of the IPC.

The decision came in response to a petition filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) by the principal, vice-principal, and a teacher of Vivekanand Higher Secondary School in Tekanpur, Dabra, Gwalior. The court quashed the FIR and other proceedings against them, which included charges under Sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 34 of the IPC.

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The case involved the suicide of a class 12 student who had allegedly faced admonishment and insult from the school authorities. The student, along with two others, had been scolded by the principal for bursting crackers in the school toilet. The vice-principal later called the student's parents to the school, causing psychological distress, ultimately leading to the student taking his own life.

The court, while acknowledging the tragedy, also underscored the importance of assessing the responsibility of the teachers involved. The bench pointed out that alternative methods of social control, in the absence of corporal punishment, have been established to address behavioural issues among school children.

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In the ruling, the court stated, “Children are required to be tutored not only to be good in academics but they ought to be tutored to become a good citizen so that they may add to the assets of the society rather than becoming a liability. If corporal punishment is banned and if a child, out of curiosity or ignorance or peer pressure, commits any deviant behaviour, then he is required to be corrected by measured reprimand or scolding.”

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Published January 30th, 2024 at 08:40 IST

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