The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Monday recommended the removal of the principal and vice-principal of Kolkata's La Martiniere School over the suicide of Class 8 student Rouvanjit Rawla.
"They not only used corporal punishment on the late Rouvanjit Rawla themselves, they also condoned the use of corporal punishment by other teachers. As such they are collectively responsible for creating an atmosphere of fear and trauma in the school," an official statement from the women and child development ministry said on Monday quoting the NCPCR report.
The premier Kolkata school courted controversy following allegations that 13-year-old Rawla committed suicide in February after being caned by principal Sunirmal Chakravarthi. Rawla's father lodged a complaint against the principal and four teachers.
Giving out a list of detailed measures for the school board, the commission called for denying increment to teachers who inflicted corporal punishment on students.
The commission called for review of teaching methods and urged the board to take steps to ensure child-centric teaching practices, as given in the Right to Education Act.
"This calls for greater engagement of the Board in matters related to child rights, found to be absent thus far," the statement said.
It was not immediately known if the school, which is a private institution, will comply with the recommendations. It has previously defended the principal's action and said his action had nothing to do with the boy's suicide which was attributed to depression arising out of family discord. It had called pronouncements of the panel "biased".
The NCPCR has also asked the state government to have child rights cells in schools and ensure implementation of the Right to Education Act that mandates abolition of corporal punishment from schools.
The recommendations to the government include "sending out appropriate messages on the seriousness of the issue of corporal punishment as a violation of the Right of the Child to Free and Compulsory Education".
The commission has also urged the government to draft model rules and guidelines under the Right to Education act and publicize them.