Student Suicide Case: K’taka HC Refuses to Quash Proceedings against 2 Teachers

Woman Dies

The Karnataka High Court has denied to quash the proceedings against two teachers in connection with the suicide of a girl student.

A single bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna remarked, “If there should be a cordial relationship between the teacher and the student, the myopic or parochial mindset of the teachers must undergo a paradigm shift. Lives of children, too precious they are, should not be so casually lost like this due to the unpardonable acts of pedagogues wanting to discipline the child.”

The petition was filed by Roopesha, the drawing teacher, and Sadananda, the physical education teacher, both employed at SDM High School, Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada. The teachers challenged the FIR registered by the Dharmasthala police against them concerning the death of a girl student by suicide.

Initially, the police charged the teachers with offenses under IPC sections 506, 354D, 509, section 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Following the student’s death, IPC section 305 for abetment to suicide was added.

The complaint alleged that the teachers had reprimanded the victim for talking to a boy at school, which led to her being insulted. This incident was reported to a fellow student. The victim’s mother had requested the teachers not to disclose the matter to other students. On February 7, 2024, frustrated by these incidents, the victim consumed rat poison on school premises and was subsequently moved to Mangaluru for better treatment. She died on February 8. The teachers contended that merely disciplining the student and her subsequent act of consuming poison, which led to her tragic death, did not make them abettors to the suicide.

The court noted that in her dying declaration, the student had stated that Sadananda threatened her with a video of her kissing another boy, which he claimed he would circulate.

The judge observed, “In this case, the so-called indiscipline cited by these petitioners is the victim talking to another boy. It is highly questionable what kind of indiscipline that would be if a girl talks with another boy. It can by no means be considered a taboo or indiscipline in any institution.”

The court added, “A child of 14 years is undoubtedly in the throes of adolescent behavior. Therefore, they need to be dealt with compassion, not in this manner. Times have changed, and we must adapt to these changes. I hope this serves as an eye-opener for such a paradigm shift.”

Read More: Supreme CourtDelhi High CourtStates High CourtOther CourtsInternational

Recommended For You

About the Author: Nunnem Gangte