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Ban on corporal punishment Vis-a-Vis Parents forum for Meaningful Education vs. Union Of India


Corporal punishment was on a rise in the 19th century and even till now despite all the laws this kind of punishment still prevails in few parts of India. Most percentage of the cases are not even reported reason being , Fear. In this case the appellant challenged the Delhi School Educational rules 1973 which allowed teachers to give physical punishments to students for disciplinary reasons. Even under IPC section 88 & 89 grants immunity to the teachers , this section talks about the acts done in good faith and for the benefit of the child under 12 years of age with consent of the guardian.

In few cases for instance Abdul Vaheed vs State of Kerala a child was beaten up by his teacher with a cane to which the court responded that it can therefore be assumed that when a parent entrusts a child to a teacher, he on his behalf impliedly consents for the teacher to exercise over the pupil such authority.

The appellants in these cases quoted the following violations and guidelines against corporal punishment :

  1. Violates article 21 of the Indian Constitution

  2. Article 19 of the UN convention on the rights of the child 1989 that states any form of discipline involving violence is unacceptable.

  3. Punishable under Section 75 of Juvenile Justice Act for cruelty to child.

This type of punishment creates a dire situation for a child to open up and becomes a deterrent for children not attending schools.

In the above mentioned case the court repealed the rules that involved physical punishments and directed the states to ensure that they receive education in an environment of freedom and dignity, free from fear. The Government also passed an act - The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 which explicitly prohibits physical punishment. The Act applies only to children aged 6-14 years, it does not apply to unaided minority schools, Madrasas, Vedic Pathsalas and educational institutions primarily imparting religious instruction. However, the Government has made a commitment to prohibit all corporal punishment in all settings as soon as possible.

Written by: Jaagatjot Singh, Second year Law student , Panjab University, Law Intern at S.Bhambari & Associates (Advocates) , Delhi

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