Mumbai: Teacher held under POCSO Act for allegedly harassing student

The complaint states that between July 2015 and May 2016, the accused would make advances towards the girl in the class and ask her to stay back after school hours.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:November 10, 2016 1:44 am
pune news, pune, Maharashtra, Maharashtra education department, international education surveys, education news, latest news, india news The police alleged that the accused sent her obscene messages on WhatsApp and Facebook. (Representational image)

A TEACHER from a prominent school in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai has been arrested for allegedly harassing a student and tampering with her marks after she resisted his advances. As per the complaint, the girl is a Class X student in the school and the accused was her class teacher. The complaint states that between July 2015 and May 2016, the accused would make advances towards the girl in the class and ask her to stay back after school hours. The girl was allegedly also told by the accused that he could improve her grades if she relented. The police alleged that the accused sent her obscene messages on WhatsApp and Facebook.

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The accused was booked under charges including Section 354 (A) (sexual harassment) 354(D) (stalking), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (outraging modesty of a woman) and eight other sections under the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections under Information Technology Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

The teacher was produced before the special POCSO court Wednesday. The court was informed that chief public prosecutor Lata Chheda had been appointed to represent the state instead of the regular court prosecutor, as per a decision from the state secretariat.

“The victim was threatened so much that she did not appear in three of her prelim exams. She was a student who used to get a distinction in class but was harassed to such a level that her grades suffered,” Chheda argued. She also told the court other members of the school were involved in tampering with the marks of the girl since she complained against the teacher.

“We want to interrogate him in custody to find how he managed to tamper with the answer sheets and about the harassment through various means,” she said.

Special Judge Srishty Neelkanth heard the accused’s lawyer who said since all sections were bailable, he should not be sent to police custody. He also said the accused had resigned from the school after the victim’s complaint and had nothing to do with the alleged tampering of her marks.

The judge sent the accused to police custody for two days. While the FIR names seven other members of the school, including the principal and teachers, no other arrest has been made so far.