The Santacruz police has lodged an FIR against a school principal accused by a polio-affected teacher of insulting her multiple times over her condition.
The police lodged an FIR on March 23 under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act after the 53-year-old teacher lodged a complaint in February. The principal has approached a sessions court, seeking anticipatory bail, claiming that the allegations are incorrect. Santacruz police opposed the anticipatory bail application, saying statements of nearly six witnesses, including other teachers at the school, have been taken against the principal and an investigation is underway. The court will decide on the plea on Friday.
According to Santacruz police, the complainant has alleged that on at least three occasions in April, June and October 2018, staffers of the school told her that the principal had referred to her disability to insult her. The police also said the complainant alleged that she was denied salary on the pay scale given to other teachers.
The principal, through her lawyer, submitted to the court that the allegations of the victim are “hearsay incidents”. The principal’s lawyer also said there was no explanation for the delay in filing a complaint if the alleged instances occurred last year.
The principal, through her lawyer, also claimed the teacher had filed a complaint after she was sent showcause notices based on various complaints received against her conduct, including during a parent-teacher meeting. The principal also alleged that the teacher had submitted the complaint as her qualification was ineligible after the school changed its board from Secondary School Certificate (SSC) to Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) in 2014.
In the FIR, the police invoked sections 92 and 7 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, which include punishment for intentional insult, or intimidation to humiliate a person with disability in any place within public view and provide for authorities to take measures to protect persons with disabilities. Section 92 of the Act attracts minimum imprisonment of six months and a maximum of five years with a fine.