New CBSE panel to examine Ruchika’s expulsion

Unhappy with the response of Sacred Heart Convent School on the allegedly wrongful expulsion of Ruchika Girhotra,the Central Board of Secondary Education has constituted a new ‘independent’ committee to examine the issue afresh.

Written by Anubhuti Vishnoi | New Delhi | Updated: April 16, 2014 2:50 pm

Unhappy with the response of Sacred Heart Convent School on the allegedly wrongful expulsion of Ruchika Girhotra,the Central Board of Secondary Education has constituted a new ‘independent’ committee to examine the issue afresh.

The committee has representatives of the CBSE,Directorate of Public Instructions,besides a representative from Sacred Heart.

CBSE Chairperson Vineet Joshi said the board had to step in as it was disappointed with the way the school had conducted the inquiry. “We do not agree with their findings and have therefore,decided to hold the inquiry afresh. This committee will seek records or talk to whomsoever they deem fit on the issue before finalising a more balanced report and recommendations. While as per principles of natural justice one cannot judge one’s own case,we had left it to the wisdom of the school to hold an impartial inquiry. But that has not been the case and that is most unfortunate in a case as sensitive as this,” Joshi said.

Ruchika (14) was expelled from the school for “non-payment of fees” in 1990. The move had came soon after she had lodged a police complaint against former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore for molesting her. Ruchika had later committed suicide.

The CBSE had issued a showcause notice to the school on January 28,2010,asking why its affiliation should not be withdrawn for its arbitrary expulsion of Ruchika. The CBSE had said in the notice that the school’s acts were in contravention of rules.

The school was to respond to the notice and act against those found guilty. Sacred Heart set up an in-house committee that gave a clean chit to its former principal and staff involved. But a magisterial inquiry had indicted the school for wrongfully expelling Ruchika,out of 135 students who had not paid the fees,allegedly under pressure from Rathore.

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