Holding the Odisha government liable for the death of a Class X student in 2014, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a show-cause notice to the state asking why it should not recommend Rs 3 lakh relief to the next of kin. The student committed suicide due to “negligence” that led to publication of a faulty exam result. The girl, Rasmita Sahu, was erroneously declared “fail” in the results of the High School Certificate Examination.
In a show-cause notice issued to the Odisha chief secretary, NHRC member Justice D Murugesan set aside the state’s contention that the student committed suicide apprehending her poor performance. He ruled that the girl took the extreme step on account of negligence of the officials of the Board of Secondary Education, Odisha, which issued a wrong result only to be corrected subsequently. The state is vicariously liable, the Commission said, asking it to respond within six weeks.
Rasmita, daughter of Bimsen Sahu of Khurda district’s Bhaliabadi Village, had committed suicide on May 1, 2014 after her Class X result was declared. However, in the revised result, released on May 2, she was shown as “pass”.
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The NHRC order came on a petition filed by Subash Mohapatra, executive director of Global Human Rights Communications.
Apart from Sahu, two other girls in the state had also committed suicide after finding their name in the failed list, but the Board later revised the result following complaints of large scale bungling in the evaluation of answer-sheets. The two other girls who committed suicide were Rinky Dehury, a student of Jarasingha Girls High School in Dhenkanal district, and Sagarika Pati from Athamallick in Angul district.