La Marts principal, 3 teachers charged with abetting Rawla’s suicide

Friday, November 19, 2010

KOLKATA - A city court Friday ordered that the principal and three teachers of the prestigious La Martiniere School for Boys be slapped with an additional charge of abetting the suicide of class 8 student Rouvanjit Rawla.

The 12th metropolitan judge of the Bankshall court, Apurva Kumar Ghosh ordered reframing of charges following an appeal by Rouvanjit’s family.

Earlier, the police had slapped milder charges against the four accused. Principal Sunirmal Chakravarti and the three other teachers - Gunian, Partho Dutta and David Ryan - would now be tried under section 305 (abetment to suicide), section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

The four were arrested Oct 4 for Rowla’s suicide February 12. All the four accused were bailed out the same day.

The 175-year-old school landed itself into a controversy and focus of nationwide debate when Rouvanjit hanged himself days after he was caned by the principal and mentally harassed by the three teachers.

Rouvanjit’s father Ajay Rawla later filed a police complaint against the principal and other teachers involved in his son’s caning and mental harassment.

Rawla filed the case under section 305 (abetment to suicide) of IPC, but later the police charge sheet only named the four accused under sections 323 and 324 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 352 (punishment without grave provocation) and 23 of the Juvenile Justice (negligence of duty).

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had recommended the dismissal of the principal and vice-principal and that the increment of three teachers be stopped following Rouvanjit’s suicide.

After the incident triggered a raging controversy, the West Bengal government announced that it would form an authority where students and their parents can express their grievances about schools and teachers.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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