1. Vide the instant petition, petitioner seeks setting aside the order dated 27.04.2011 passed by ld. Presiding Officer of Delhi School Tribunal whereby the appeal filed by the petitioner has been dismissed.
2. In brief, the facts of the case are that petitioner was working as a Physical Education Teacher (PET) in the New Era Public School, Mayapuri, New Delhi (hereafter referred to as the respondent School) since 04.07.1983. He was placed in the PGT Grade w.e.f 01.08.2001.
3. Article of Charge of committing gross misconduct specified in W.P.(C) 5765/2011 Page 1 of 25 Rule 123 of DSER, 1973 and thus he acted in a manner of unbecoming of an employee of the School. The petitioner on 25.04.2008 punished the Students (Boys and Girls) of the School by way of slapping them on their body which tantamount to corporal (physical) punishment. The Provision of Corporation Punishment existing in Rule 37 (1)(a)(ii) and 4, DSER, 1973 was held void of law and hence struck down by this Court in its landmark judgment in Civil Writ Petition 196/1998 Parents Forum for Meaningful Education vs. Union of India.
18. The position in our Country in administrative law, where no fundamental freedoms as aforesaid are involved, is that the Courts/Tribunals will only play a secondary role while the primary judgment as to reasonableness will remain with the executive or administrative authority.
19. To put differently, unless the punishment imposed by the Disciplinary Authority or the Appellate Authority shocks the conscience of the Court/Tribunal, there is no scope for interference.
20. Infliction of corporal punishment upon children is inhuman. The Preamble to the Convention on the Rights of the Child reflects that the State parties thereto, recognising the importance of the Child considered the necessity of bringing up the child in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, particularly in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity. The Preamble recalls that in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance.
23. The Government of India acceded to the Convention on December 11, 1992. The National Policy on Education was modified in 1992 before acceding to it. It is significant to note that the National Policy is in tune with the Convention inasmuch as it is against imposition of corporal punishment. Para 5.6 of the policy describes all concerned share solicitude for the needs of the child, is the best motivation for the child to attend the school and learn.
24. The UNICEF's report and studies have also shown that spanking of the children result in undesirable effects. They become withdrawn and exhibit anti-social behavior. Fear of corporal punishment discourages regular attendance at schools and increases dropout rates. This obviously hampers and obstructs education and affects their right to education, which is a fundamental right flowing from Article 21 of W.P.(C) 5765/2011 Page 24 of 25 the Indian Constitution.
25. The corporal punishment to a school child is barred by law. Any act of awarding corporal punishment to children, not to be taken lightly by the disciplinary authority. The punishment awarded to the petitioner in the present case is hence not disproportionate vis-a-vis charge levelled against him.
26. In view of above discussion and legal position, I find no discrepancy in the impugned order passed by the Tribunal and also find no disproportionate punishment given by the disciplinary authority against the petitioner.