Monday, November 29, 1999

IPC may have to be amended to check corporal punishment: NCPCR

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New Delhi, Jun 17 (PTI) In the wake of alleged suicide by a student in Kolkata after being canned by his principal, a child rights body may push for amending the IPC to ensure that anyone involved in corporal punishment does not get away under certain provisions of the law. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a body to safeguard the rights of children, is of the view that Section 88 and 89 of the Indian Penal Code give a cover to teachers and elders to resort to corporal punishment against children "in good faith". "We are examining whether the section 88 and 89 of IPC have any bearing on corporal punishment. If people are using those sections as cover for corporal punishment, we would seek amendment to the IPC," a senior NCPCR official told PTI here. NCPCR Chairperson Shantha Sinha yesterday met HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and discussed the issue of corporal punishment in the light of Right To Education Act which bans such offences. The two IPC sections say that nothing should be considered as an offence if it is "done in good faith for benefit of a person under 12 years of age". NCPCR will now examine the issue and make recommendations to the government. Sibal has asked Sinha to frame and issue tough guidelines to get rid of corporal punishment in schools. "The children are very precious to us. They are the future of our country. No child should be subjected to harassment and thereby get demotivated and be pushed out of the system," he told reporters here. Sibal said that the newly enacted Right To Education Act prohibits corporal punishment. "Because we have a provision in the Act, we can issue guidelines. We will be in fact in discussion with NCPCR for issuance of guidelines," he said. "We must get rid of corporal punishment. Children need to be included in the system. I think there is so much change in the methodology and the way we deliver education," he said. The NCPCR has already issued guidelines in 2007. But those rules are not enough to check the menace. 13-year-old Rouvanjit Rawla, a student of La Martiniere School in Kolkata, allegedly committed suicide after being canned by his principal.

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