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It is improper for parents or teachers to physically chastise children but when administered in the justified reprimand of a child, hurt of a less serious crime is not illegal: Kerala High Court

It is improper for parents or teachers to physically chastise children but when administered in the justified reprimand of a child, hurt of a less serious crime is not illegal is upheld by the Kerala High Court in the case of Jaya v. State of Kerala (Crl. Rev.Pet No. 819 of 2015) through Justice Dr Kauser Edappagath.

FACTS OF THE CASE

De facto complaint, in this case, was a student in the same class as the accused or the revision petitioner, who was also the class instructor for Standard VI. His dad answered as the fourth respondent.

It was claimed that the revision petitioner attempted to beat the third respondent with a cane with the intent to inflict harm because he was angry with him for taking too long to retrieve a textbook. However, when the third respondent suddenly turned his face up, the cane’s butt accidentally touched the cornea of his right eye, and the revision petitioner was found to have violated Sections 324 of the Penal Code, 1860, and 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

According to the lower court, there is sufficient evidence to suspect that the revision petitioner committed the crime, and charges have been filed against her under Sections 324 of the Penal Code of 1860 and Section 23 of the JJ Act.

The petition for immediate modification was chosen to contest the aforementioned.

JUDGMENT

In the present case, the instructor who filed the revision petition attempted to punish the rowdy class by making a cane sound and banging it on the table.

She further claimed that the third respondent was sitting by himself under the bench when everyone else was seated quietly and appropriately. When she noticed this, she attempted to touch his right-hand elbow region with the cane in a genuine attempt to draw the attention of the third respondent to the class, without intending to hit or damage him. His right eye’s cornea was lightly touched by the cane butt at the same time.

According to the High Court, the two biggest influences in a person’s life are their parents and teachers at school. Paddling children or administering excessive corporal punishment to them, whether by a parent or a teacher, is, without a doubt, prohibited.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009, Section 17, states that no kid shall be exposed to physical or verbal abuse. When a parent or a school teacher to whom the parent has delegated or is assumed to have delegated his power reasonably chastises a kid, it is not against the law to inflict harm that is related to a less serious crime.

According to the court, a teacher who imposes moderate and reasonable force on a student without intending to harm them cannot be subject to criminal prosecution or be saddled with criminal guilt. The teacher’s cane was used as is customary to maintain discipline and quiet the rowdy class. As a result, it cannot be regarded as a hazardous weapon. A voluntary act must be employed to inflict harm with a dangerous weapon in order for Section 234 of the OPC to apply.

According to the case file, the teacher had no desire to harm the third respondent in any way. When it comes to “assault” under Section 351 IPC, it was nothing more than a threat of violence that demonstrated a desire to use unlawful force as well as the capacity and desire to carry out the threat. The revision petitioner did not use any words or gestures to threaten the third respondent, according to the prosecution data.

Nothing in the documentation suggested that the third respondent’s mental health was hampered by the teacher. According to the High Court, the revision petitioner’s actions could not be characterised as having been done with the goal to harm the third respondent. The evidence showed that she used her power fairly and in good faith, and even if the prosecution’s accusations were shown to be accurate in their totality, they would not constitute an offence under Section 324 of the IPC or Section 23 of the JJ Act.

The criminal revision petition was therefore upheld, and the revision petitioner was discharged.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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