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GUJCET Result date 2024: The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Gandhinagar will be declaring the Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET) 2024 result...
HomeNewsTeacher forcing girl to accept flowers is sexual harassment: SC

Teacher forcing girl to accept flowers is sexual harassment: SC

DELHI:

Supreme Court

has said that a male school teacher presenting flowers to a

minor girl

student and forcing her to

accept

it in front of others in a classroom amounted to

sexual harassment

under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act but laid down guidelines for strict scrutiny of the evidence as reputation of a teacher is at stake.
A bench of Justices Dipankar Datta, K V Vishwanathan and Sandeep Mehta found that the evidence given by the allegedly harassed minor student and witnesses was full of discrepancies and reversed concurrent findings of a Tamil Nadu trial court and Madras high court, by which the teacher was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Justice Datta, writing the judgment, said no doubt the stringent provisions of Pocso kicks in when such an incident happens in a public place like school, but the courts must also be aware that when a teacher’s reputation is at stake and must not allow minor girls to be used as pawns to defame a teacher whose role in the society is as important as keeping girls safe. Acquitting the convicted teacher, the bench said, “We quite agree with the submissions of senior counsel for the State that an act of sexual harassment of a girl student (who is also a minor) by any teacher would figure quite high in the list of offences of grave nature since it has far-reaching consequences.”

The SC found material contradictions in the statements of the minor girl and weighed in the possibility of the girl being used as a pawn to settle scores with the teachers because of an earlier incident between her relatives and the teacher.