Haryana CM orders dismissal of Jind school principal for sexually harassing students
142 students testified against Kartar Singh, 56, the principal of the Government Girls School in Jind, who was arrested on November 4
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday ordered the dismissal of Kartar Singh, 56, the principal of the Government Girls School in Jind district, for sexually harassing girl students.
Acting on the inquiry report of a committee headed by the Uchana sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), which found the principal prima facie guilty of sexual harassment, Khattar decided to dismiss Kartar Singh from government service.
His dismissal orders are being issued under Article 311 (2)(b) of the Constitution that empowers the competent authority to dismiss, remove or reduce in rank persons employed in civil capacities under the Union or state government without conducting a departmental inquiry.
Panel interacted with 390 students
Jind deputy commissioner Mohammad Imran Raza had told HT that 142 girl students had testified against 56-year-old Kartar Singh, the principal of the government girls school, in front of a committee headed by the Uchana SDM, Gulzar Malik.
“The committee which conducted a preliminary inquiry found Kartar Singh prima facie guilty. The committee interacted with 390 girl students of Classes 9, 10, 11 and 12. Of them, 142 students have directly or indirectly confirmed sexual harassment,” Raza had said.
An official spokesperson said that action to dismiss Kartar Singh from service was initiated taking into account grave allegations of misconduct.
The Jind police had registered a case against him on October 30 under Section 8 (sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and Section 354 (molestation) of the Indian Penal Code, after which he was placed under suspension by the state government.
The police had arrested him on November 4, and he is currently in Jind jail on judicial remand.
Letter by 15 students led to action
On August 31, 15 girl students wrote a five-page letter addressed to the most powerful offices in the country -- the President of India, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, the Haryana governor, and the state education minister.
Last week, Khattar said that the government had zero tolerance for such incidents. “The accused, whosoever he may be, would not be spared,” he said, adding that a woman principal was posted at the Jind school and 16 other staff members had been transferred.
Renu Bhatia, the chairperson of the Haryana state women commission, has been asked to organise seminars with the police to prevent such incidents.