School teacher, in view of his peculiar position, must have authority to enforce discipline and correct a pupil : Kerala HC

Kerala High Court: A Bench of Raja Vijayaraghavan V, J. allowed a petition filed under Section 482 CrPC.

In the present petition, the facts of the case are stated as, the petitioner is a mathematics teacher of the daughter of respondent 3 a class II student. It has been stated that while learning addition and subtraction, child committed a minor mistake for which the petitioner is alleged to have jabbed on her shoulders with his fist.

For the above-stated act child was taken to the hospital and the father of the child lodged the FIR statement leading to the registration of the crime. After the investigation, final report was laid under Section 323 IPC and Section 23 of JJ Act, 2000.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the prosecution allegations, even if admitted as true in its entirety, would not make out an offence against the petitioner. As petitioner was in the process of teaching the child the nuances of mathematics and in order to keep her alert had only jabbed on her shoulders. The act committed by the petitioner cannot be said to be an act motivated by malice.

It was noted that, “the applicant herein is a school teacher and the victim is his student. Parents, teachers and other persons in loco parentis are entitled as a disciplinary measure to apply a reasonable degree of force to their children or pupil old enough to understand the purpose to which the act was done.”

Thus the Bench stated that the act of the petitioner cannot be said to have been preceded with malice and the proceedings are manifestly attended with mala fide and has been instituted merely for harassing the petitioner. Quoting the Apex Court, summoning the accused to the criminal court is a serious matter and a court proceeding cannot be permitted to degenerate into a weapon of harassment or persecution.

Therefore, “Nature of the material on which the structure of the prosecution rests is so brittle that this Court will be justified in quashing the proceeding to prevent abuse of process of the Court.” [Rajan v. State, 2018 SCC OnLine Ker 5774, Order dated 07-12-2018]

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