HC upholds dismissal of teacher who took sex education too far
Even as India continues to pose questions to itself on sex education, this is one story of a school teacher who clearly went over the board while "doing her job".
The Delhi High Court has upheld the dismissal of a woman teacher of a New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)-run school for special children in Chanakyapuri.
The teacher had made two students—a boy and a girl—indulge in sexual acts to “develop awareness of sex (sic)”.
“A horrifying immoral act,” pronounced a Delhi High Court bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, who upholded the decision by the school, then the NDMC and finally the Central Administrative Tribunal.
Lalita Singh, the sports and yoga teacher at the school, had applied to all three authorities after being dismissed from service a decade ago.
The court rejected Singh's contention that the statement of special children could not be lent credence as they did not have the mental ability to articulate what had happened.
Her lawyer’s argument that she was not given adequate opportunity to cross-examine the children was also turned down.
Justice Misra said, "The act of the teacher had left such a shocking imprint on the minds of the students that they had never recovered from that and stated clearly what had happened during the preliminary probe by the school and secondly before the enquiry commission."
The Delhi High Court while upholding Singh’s dismissal, gave the the statement of the school principal the maximum credence.
The principal had given a statement in the court that Singh had said that she was "only making an effort to develop awareness of sex among the mentally retarded students".
The court also said, “The mentally retarded cannot be underestimated. Even they have some IQ to remember what happened to them when they faced such a horrific situation.”
Rejecting the teacher's argument that she was not given sufficient opportunity to defend herself, the court said that records also show that the various inquiring authorities had adequately considered her defence and that there is no non-application of mind by any authority.