For the third time, within the span of a fortnight, another government school teacher was suspended on charges of molestation. Prabhakaran (50), a Social Science teacher in the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, has been placed under suspension by the Department of School Education on charges of molesting a Class VI girl.
Following a complaint by her father to the Director of School Education, an inquiry was conducted and the suspension orders were issued on Thursday.
However, such suspensions do not lead to prevention of the crime unless an FIR is registered and the guilty is convicted or some drastic punishment in the form of termination of service is effected. After the suspension is revoked, the only action such teachers face is a transfer to another school.
There have been instances of teachers having repeating the crime. J Harikrishnan (58) who was suspended recently on charges of molesting an eight-year-old girl was earlier charged with the molestation of another girl student while serving at Alankuppam government school, four years ago. Though an FIR was registered, the case was not pursued and the only punishment given is a cut in his annual increment.
A primary school teacher who retired recently was suspended four times in his career on charges of molestation. Each time after his suspension orders were revoked, he was transferred. He was last posted at a primary school in a rural area.
Though there are provisions under the Central Civil Services Conduct) rules, 1964 for taking strong action, no such action has been taken yet by evoking the rules.
“A few years ago, after several written complaints of sexual harassment against a PT teacher of Indira Nagar Government HSS were taken up, no action was taken except a transfer. He was also given the Best Teacher Award,” rues P Lakshmanasamy of Pondicherry Teachers Assn and general secretary of Puducherry Govt Employees Association.