Not reporting cases of sexual assault within school premises may land school authorities, including teachers, in jail.
After the Mangolpuri incident, in which a seven-year-old was allegedly sexually assaulted inside an MCD school, the education department has issued a circular directing schools to report such cases and brush up on the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act, 2012.
Under the POCSO, sexual acts committed by “people in authority” such as school teachers attract harsher penalty. A person can be jailed for six months and fined if he fails to report a case of sexual assault, but the quantum is greater — one year — if a teacher or someone in the school management fails to do so.
Similarly, while the punishment for sexually assaulting a minor is a seven-year jail-term; if the accused is in any kind of position of authority, the term is 10 years.
“We have issued a circular to all private and government schools informing them,” said a senior Delhi government official.
This move is meant to check offences against children and encourage prompt action.