12. Thus, the policy makes it amply clear that corporal punishment is to be eradicated from the schools. It may be noted that provision for corporal punishment contained in Rule 37 is not in keeping with the goals set out in the National Policy on Education and the international convention. In case corporal punishment was conducive to education, the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations and the National Policy on Education would have been laudatory of the same and would have permitted it. Since physical punishment has a baneful W.P.(C) 5765/2011 Page 17 of 25 effect on the child and on his education, the Convention and the National Policy have not endorsed the same.
23. We are not impressed by the submission that the provisions of Rule 37(1)(a)(ii) and (4) is not violative of Article 21 as they allow infliction of light physical punishment on the students. To allow even minimum violence to children can degenerate into aggravated form. A teacher using the rod cannot every time be mindful of the force with which he may be hitting the child.
27. Before parting with the case we would like to observe that fundamental rights of the child will have no meaning if they are not protected by the State. In Bhajan Kaur v. Delhi Administration, 1996 III AD (DELHI) 333, it was recognised by this Court that State cannot be a mute spectator to the violation of the rights guaranteed to a person under Article 21 of the Constitution. The State must intervene to secure the rights to an individual. In Usuf Khan alias Dilip Kumar and others vs Manohar Joshi and others, 1999 S.C.C. (Crl.) 577, it was held that the State is obliged to protect law and the Constitution. In discharge of that obligation the State was directed to take action with a view to ensure adequate security cover and protection to the petitioners. Therefore, the State cannot derive any consolation from the fact that the violators W.P.(C) 5765/2011 Page 21 of 25 are schools and not the State. The State must ensure that corporal punishment to students is excluded from schools. The State and the schools are bound to recognise the right of the children not to be exposed to violence of any kind connected with education. The National Policy in tune with the Convention has adopted child centered approach, where corporal punishment has no place in the system of education. Even otherwise, India being a signatory to the Convention is obliged to protect the child from physical or mental violence or injury while the child is in the care of any person, may be educational institution, parents or legal guardian.
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.