Principal, director of Delhi school jailed for two months for not allowing child in classroom
During her cross examination in the court, the girl had said that she was told by her class teacher that the director and principal had given instructions to not allow her to sit in the classroom.delhi Updated: Jul 28, 2017 11:16 IST
In an unprecedented verdict, a Delhi court on Wednesday awarded a two-month jail term to a school principal and its director for causing mental trauma to a 7-year-old girl by not allowing her to enter the classroom.
Kavita Chandra was the then director and Romi Chawla was the then principal of Dwarka-based OPG World School, where the incident took place on April 24, 2012. Both have been directed to pay a compensation of R 2.5 lakh each to the girl.
“For five long years, my daughter was traumatised and wondered what her fault was. The incident happened when she was in class 3 and admissions were closed in other schools. It took us over two months to find another school, and my child remained at home all this while for no fault of hers,” the girl’s father told Hindustan Times.
Stating that the act of not allowing the child to sit in the classroom amounts to wilful neglect, the court had in June this year convicted Chandra and Chawla under Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
The girl’s father had complained that his daughter was ill treated and confined by the school management throughout the school hours on April 24, 2012, in order to pressurise him to withdraw her from school. He said that instead of keeping her in the class with her classmates, she was wrongly confined to various other places in the school where neither children were present nor any activity was going on. He claimed that she was not even sent to dining hall to have a breakfast and lunch with her classmates.
During her cross examination in the court, the girl had said that she was told by her class teacher that the director and principal had given instructions to not allow her to sit in the classroom.
During the course of investigation, the director and the principal had said that a transfer certificate was issued on April 23, 2012 on the request of the girl’s parents. However, instead of collecting the transfer certificate, the child was sent to the school. They said that since the girl was not feeling comfortable on arrival at the school and knowing her past history of asthma, she was sent to infirmary for rest. The school had requested the parents to pick her up and collect the transfer certificate.
However, the girl’s father said that he had raised questions against the arbitrary increase in school fees and accessory charges, after which the school management sought to evict his daughter with a transfer certificate.
“I had already paid the school fees in advance and so I refused to accept the transfer certificate. I told them that I will transfer her only after finding another school. But still the management prevented my daughter from attending her classes,” said the girl’s father.
In its judgment, the court said that whatever may be the differences with the parents, the school authorities could not have allowed the child to be neglected. It further said that the child cannot be thrown out at the whim and fancies of the school authorities.
The girl’s father said that he ran from pillar to post to get justice for her daughter, who is now 12-years-old. She is one of the top performers in her new school.