In the last three years, 56 cases of sexual violence against girls by teachers in schools have been registered in the state, data from the Rajasthan home department has revealed.
The data shows that of the 55 teachers who stand accused in the cases, no one has been convicted and five have been acquitted. At present, 36 such cases are pending in courts.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act calls for speedy disposal of such cases.
“It is extremely unfortunate that flaws in the current system are not facilitating quick disposal of such cases. The fact that many of these teachers are suspended for a short time and then reinstated is also a matter of grave concern,” said Deepak Kalra, former chairperson of the Rajasthan Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
“The fact that a child is molested by a person who is supposed to be her protector is shameful,” Kalra added.
“The POCSO Act has provisions to increase the punishment for such persons. Many such cases of molestation go unreported and if the ones reported are also not disposed of timely, then it is indeed a sorry fact,” she said.
In February, the Jaipur police arrested paedophile teacher Rameez who had confessed to molesting several children and filming the act. The children used to come to his house for coaching.
The probe had revealed that the administration of the school where Rameez was teaching hadn’t taken action, except for firing him, even after the matter was brought to its notice. The police later arrested a person from the school management and booked him under the POCSO Act for hiding evidence.
“It is of utmost importance that the judiciary disposes of such cases quickly as it becomes traumatic for the victims if the accused isn’t arrested and continues to pressurise her,” said Kalra.
The data also revealed that 16 such cases have remained inconclusive after the final reports were submitted.
“The government should take immediate steps to ensure disposal of such cases within a short time. Action should be taken against those responsible for the delay,” said child rights activist Deshraj Singh.