The Delhi high court Friday came down heavily on a class 10 student, who had uploaded a morphed "obscene" picture of one of his female classmates on social networking site Facebook, as well as his parents.
After Justice Hima Kohli reprimanded the student of a private school in Vasant Kunj area of south Delhi, who has been expelled from the school, his father too was pulled up by the court for failing to take necessary action.
"What you (student) have done is an offence. It can not be taken lightly as it is a serious matter punishable with three years of jail," Justice Kohli warned the student.
She also pulled up his father. "Why are you insisting on counselling by the school? What were you doing when the matter came to your notice,” the judge said while rejecting his immediate plea to direct the school to re-admit the student.
However, the court issued notice to the school authorities on the matter, seeking its reply Nov 30.
Meanwhile, the boy and his father apologised to the judge, and said this would not be repeated in future. The father even told the judge that he has already punished the boy, to which his son said that he won't repeat it in future. After the school administration refused his father’s request to allow his ward to attend classes, he had approached the high court seeking relief.
His counsel Ashok Agarwal made "the best interest of child" the basis of his petition, pleading that restricting the student from attending classes would further spoil his future. "It is an established rule that the best interest of the child has to be kept in consideration."
"Further, the school is obliged to follow the Delhi Education Rules which clearly states that in such cases where a child is in a situation of conflict with law, the schools must adopt a reformative approach towards such students rather than taking punishment measures like striking off the child’s name," Agarwal contended.
The petitioner submitted that when he went to the school as usual Oct 18, he was not allowed to attend class and was told that he had been suspended. The student was given a suspension letter on Oct 20 by the school authorities on charges of indisciplined behaviour, he said.
"He had indulged in morphing a girl child’s picture in an unacceptable form. This had hurt the sentiments of the girl child and reflected an absolute insensitiveness towards fellow students," said the petition.
"The principal informed the father that the petitioner and one of his friends posted some 'unacceptable posts' after the school hours of one of their Facebook friends who was colleague girl child," said the petition.
It is submitted that thereafter on Nov 2, the Transfer Certificate was handed over to the father of the petitioner despite the fact that he was repeatedly requesting the principal to take back the child and not to expel him from the school.
"The father of the petitioner also assured the principal that the mistake would not be repeated by the petitioner. However, the principal was adamant and did not at all listen to his request," said Agarwal.