Gujarat High Court Acquits Teacher in 8-Year-Old Student Suicide Case

In a significant verdict, the Gujarat High Court has quashed the FIR against a teacher, eight years after being accused following the suicide of a student. The court expressed its sympathy towards the bereaved family but emphasized that it is unjust to penalize the innocent.

The case dates back to 2016 when a student in Surat took her own life following a reprimand from her teacher, which involved a physical slap. This tragic incident led the student’s family to allege that the teacher’s actions were directly responsible for their daughter’s demise, resulting in legal action against the teacher and the school trustee.

The Gujarat High Court, while delivering its judgment, stated that while it empathizes with the family’s loss, the legal system cannot proceed against individuals without sufficient evidence of their guilt. The court recognized that teachers often have to take strict measures for the betterment of their students and that the welfare of students is of paramount importance to educators.

This decision has brought significant relief to the accused teacher and trustee, effectively dismissing the police complaint lodged against them. It is noteworthy that this is not an isolated incident of student suicide following disciplinary actions by teachers. A similar case emerged in July 2023 in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, where a 10th-grade student committed suicide after being reprimanded by a teacher for wearing a bindi to school, which led to a public slap. The incident had sparked considerable outrage and led to protests demanding action against the responsible school authorities.

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