Madras High Court: Teachers and Headmasters should not be blamed for students' suicide without sufficient evidence 

This judgement was observed while the Bench was dismissing a writ petition from a mother seeking compensation against a headmaster for the suicide of her son
Pic only for representational purpose (Pic credits: Express)
Pic only for representational purpose (Pic credits: Express)

On Thursday, November 3, the Madras High Court said that the teachers and headmasters (HM) should not be blamed for any extreme step taken by the students to end their lives, as stated in a report by PTI. The report further said that a duty is cast upon the parents to create a good environment both inside and outside the house for their children, which is of paramount importance.

Moreover, the teachers and headmasters may be blamed only if there is evidence to establish that they have committed any offence or violated the code of conduct issued by the School Education Department. There is, unfortunately, a growing trend of children dying by suicide across the country currently. "Therefore, it is the duty of the parents as well as the teachers to ascertain the reasons and perform their respective duties as expected and create conducive circumstances for providing a better future to the children," Justice SM Subramaniam observed.

This judgement was observed while the Bench was dismissing a writ petition from K Kala seeking compensation of Rs 10 lakh and appropriate action against the school headmaster for the suicide of her son.

What actually happened?
As per the petitioner, she and her husband are daily wage workers and have two daughters and a son. Her son Yuvaraj (17) was studying in Class XII at the Gudalur Government Higher Secondary School. He was allegedly harassed by the school headmaster, who used to cut the hair of the boys in public, tear their trousers using blades and beat and abuse them ruthlessly. Consequently, with this continuous behaviour of the headmaster, her son committed suicide in August 2017, she contended.

What did the judge say?
In a suicide by child case, who is responsible for such an act is figured out by conducting an elaborate enquiry or investigation, the judge said. Simply blaming teachers and HMs for no valid reason will result in disreputableness to the institution, which is not desirable, the judge said. 

But in this case, there was an elaborate probe conducted by the education department and police authorities, who have submitted their respective reports. These reports said that the HM was not liable for any prosecution as he was not responsible for the commission of suicide by the boy. Thus, the HM has been unnecessarily dragged and made to suffer without any valid reason, the judge said. 

Additionally, it is a fit case to impose costs on the petitioner but considering the plight of the petitioner and her family, the judge refrained from doing so. "The petitioner has not established any acceptable reason for the purpose of considering the relief," the judge added and dismissed the petition.

Related Stories

No stories found.