In the case of C Manjunath v. State of Karnataka and Anr, A Few locals alerted the Madhugiri Block Education Officer (BEO) of the petitioner’s alleged illegal actions in March of this year. A Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) and the BEO went to the school where some children had reported incidents of sexual harassment and abuse by the accused. In response, the BEO filed a complaint, based on which the police opened an investigation under the POCSO Act Section 8 penalty for sexual assault and Section 12 punishment for sexual harassment. The Fast Track Special Court FTSC rejected the petitioner’s request for bail. He, therefore filed an appeal with the High Court.
The petitioner claimed that after voicing his concerns about a villager operating a small store on the grounds of the school, he was unjustly accused of being involved in the issue. He emphasised that he had never previously received any complaints of this nature. He claimed that several villages trained their kids to make false police statements to settle their differences with him.
The State argued that because horrible crimes had been perpetrated against numerous children, the case did not qualify for the granting of bail. Furthermore, it was made clear that the survivors had no connection to the proprietor of the tiny store and that the petitioner’s account was consequently unreliable.
Analysis of court verdict
A teacher accused of sexually abusing and assaulting his young female students was denied bail by the Karnataka High Court’s single-judge bench. Justice Umesh M. Adiga. The petitioner allegedly sexually harassed minor kids, the Court said, disregarding his position and stature as a teacher in society and the serious nature of the charges.
The Court went on to say that although instructors are revered in this country as being gods, due to the petitioner’s actions, parents will be hesitant to send their daughter’s children to school. The alleged crimes are horrifying. He has sexually harassed students in classes IV and V without mercy and without considering his standing in the community. In this country, a guru or instructor is revered and treated like a god. However, as a result of the petitioner’s alleged actions, even the parents hesitate before enrolling their daughter in the school.
The court took notice of the survivors’ repeated claims that the petitioner had sexually harassed and assaulted them in the past. According to the Court, these statements established the petitioner’s involvement in the accused offence as prima facie evidence against the accused. It further stated that since the survivors had no connection to the proprietor of the tiny shop, they had no reason to bring false accusations against the defendant. The Court concluded that the lower court was correct to dismiss the petitioner’s request for bail.