Corporal punishment: Pune court acquits headmistress

Setting aside an order passed by a magistrate court,the Pune Sessions court on Tuesday acquitted Ujjwala David

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published:July 3, 2013 3:48 am

Setting aside an order passed by a magistrate court,the Pune Sessions court on Tuesday acquitted Ujjwala David Andrews,the headmistress of a city school who was booked on charges of beating a student 17 years ago.

In 2007,the magistrate court had sentenced Andrews to undergo a simple imprisonment of one year and pay a fine of Rs 5,000.

The alleged incident had taken place in 1996,when the then headmistress of Vinay High School in Bhavani Peth area had allegedly hit Munir Nasir Patil,then 14 and a student of Class VIII,with a wooden ruler that broke in the process. As a result,Munir’s right side had reportedly got paralysed.

Andrews had moved the Sessions court challenging the magistrate court order. Setting aside the order on Tuesday,Sessions Judge A S Mahatme said the eyewitnesses in the case were not trustworthy and that the magistrate might have passed the conviction order in an emotional state of mind. The judge also pointed out lacunas in police investigation as only one piece of the broken ruler with which Andrews had allegedly beaten Munir had been seized. The police had failed to seize the remaining piece.

One witness in this case had turned hostile earlier. Andrews’s lawyer S K Jain argued that she might have punished Munir but did not have any intention to hurt him. Meanwhile,Munir,who is now 31 years old,has decided to challenge the acquittal in the High Court.

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