"Parents would think twice before sending girls school": Karnataka HC denies Bail to Govt teacher accused of sexual harassment

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The teacher allegedly sexually harassed the girl students of standards IV to VI. 

The Karnataka High Court recently denied bail to a government primary school teacher accused of sexually assaulting minor girl students. Court noted that allegedly the teacher had not only harassed the girl students but also had threatened them of spoiling their name and future.

The bench of Justice Umesh M Adiga noted in the order that though in our country, teachers are respected like God, because of the alleged behaviour of the accused teacher, the parents would think twice about sending of their girl child to school.

"It may spoil name, fame and future of the said girl students. It is not a crime against the individual but crime against a society," the judge observed. 

The court was dealing with the bail plea filed by the accused teacher.

The prosecution case was that the petitioner had been working as an Assistant Teacher in the Government Primary School, Boragunte village for about 6 to 7 years prior to the time when the matter was reported. Allegedly, he had been sexually harassing the minor girl students studying in classes IV to VI.

It was only in March 2023, the villagers informed the Block Education Officer (BEO) about the illegal acts of the accused petitioner and when the BEO visited the said school, some of the girl students, who were studying in IV and V standards stated that the accused used to touch their private part of the body and talked to them in an obscene manner.

The victim girls also informed the officers that the accused also used to ask them to touch his private part after undressing himself. 

Thereafter, the BEO lodged a written complaint and on that basis, the police registered a case for the offences punishable under Sections 8 & 12 of the POCSO Act. A chargesheet was also submitted before the Fast Track Special Court.

The accused teacher was then arrested on March 27, 2023 and had been in custody since then. His bail plea was also rejected by the Fast Track Court. 

Before the high court, the counsel for the accused teacher argued that the accused had been teaching at the said school for 6-7 years and there had not been any complaint against him.

The counsel claimed that since the accused teacher had objected to a petty shop proposed by a villager in the school premises, the villagers had falsely implicated him in the present case. 

However, the court noted that the Fast Track Court had elaborately discussed all the said points as well as the point of law involved in the present case and then rejected the bail application. Therefore, court held that the accused teacher did not deserve to be released on bail at the present stage. 

Case Title: xxx   v State of Karnataka