Four teachers of La Martiniere for Boys’ School, including principal Sunirmal Chakravarti, was absolved of charges of abetting the suicide of 13-year-old student Rouvanjit Rawla. A city court pronounced the verdict on Friday.
A student of Class 8, Rouvanjit committed suicide by hanging himself on February 12, 2010. The 13-year-old was reportedly forced into taking the extreme step following months of humiliation allegedly at the hands of a section of faculty. Ajay Rawla, Rouvanjit’s father, later lodged an FIR, alleging humiliation, punishment and physical assault by the principal and a section of faculty. The father claimed that the alleged excesses by the faculty drove his son to suicide.
In their complaint, Rouvanjit’s family members named three teachers— LG Gunion, David Ryan and Partha Dutta, in addition to principal Sunirmal Chakravarti, as being responsible for their son’s fate.
All four were arrested on October 4, 2010 before being released on bail. Following a hearing on Friday, the third fast track court ordered dropping of charges against the principal and three colleagues in the faculty. They had all been named in the charge sheet issued in the case and had been charged with abetment. “The judge held that there was no material evidence to prove the charges against the accused,” Tarique Qasimuddin, the lawyer arguing for the accused teachers, said.
“We knew our teachers weren’t guilty and hence stood by them and had faith in the country’s legal system. We have sympathy for the parents however and understand their emotions in the wake of losing their only child. But they should have weighed in various other factors and should have been guided by their heads and not hearts before levelling the charges,” Suprito Dhar, secretary of the school told HT. Ajay Rawla however, couldn’t be reached for comments in the wake of the verdict.