A 55-year-old teacher harassed a student more than once, charged under POCSO.

The decision a 55-year-old teacher harassed a student more than once, and she was charged under POCSO, upheld by the High Court of Karnataka through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE JUSTICE M. NAGAPRASANNA in the case of N R Sugandaraju v. State of Karnataka(Criminal Petition No. 2917 of 2022).

Facts of the case: He is a PT teacher, and he mistreated a student who is in the 10th grade. He did the same thing when she was in the 8th and 9th grades. When the victim girl couldn’t take this petitioner’s actions anymore, she told the school’s principal. In response to that complaint, the school’s principal filed a complaint, and a case has been opened under Sections 8 and 12 of the POCSO Act. This petition is filed under Section 439 of the CrPC. It asks for regular bail for the petitioner in a case registered at the Magadi Police Station in the Ramanagara District for an offence punishable under Sections 8 and 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 (or “POCSO Act” for short).

Counsel for the petitioner said that the petitioner is about 55 years old and that the complaint shows there was a delay in filing the complaint and that a false complaint was filed afterthought when no such complaint had been filed before. The investigation has already been finished, and the petitioner has been in jail for the past two months. The maximum sentence for this crime is five years, so he may be let out on bail if he meets certain conditions.

The lawyer for the respondent-State said that the complainant did not file the complaint right away. When the victim girl told her friends about what happened, her friends told her to file a complaint with the principal. She did so, and her statement under Section 164 CrPC was also recorded in front of the court. In it, she said that the petitioner had done the same thing again.

JUDGMENT- The court noticed that in the principal’s complaint, the petitioner was accused of breaking Sections 8 and 12 of the POCSO Act. It is also clear that the victim girl was one of the petitioner’s students. But since the maximum punishment for the crime is five years and the petitioner has been in jail for two months, the investigation is over, and a charge sheet has been filed, there is no need for a custodial trial and the case needs to be decided in court.

Judgement reviewed by – Harilakshmi

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