09 July 2010

Two Judgements of Bombay High Court

Two news items on 8th July 2010 with regard to different rulings by Bombay High Court has kept one thinking. Is this the system that we would like for us?

First, is the story of Adhishree Gopalakrishnan, a class nine student of Vibgyor High School in Goregaon, Mumbai. The court dismissed her petition seeking readmission to school that expelled just a day before the school reopend because her parents protested against a fee hike last year, (Find another school, court tells expelled girl). Prior to this, the school had refused to readmit the student as part of an interim arrangement. This in a sense is an outcome of the sorry state of school education in India. If you want your child to go to a good school, it has to be private. Hierarchy of schools in terms of 'quality' depend upon the paying capacity of parents.

Contrast this with the happenings in the West (including United States) that follows the neighbourhood approach. All such schools are publicly funded and do not differ much in quality. There is no question of protesting against fee hikes, as there are none. This, however, does not prevent parents and the public in general do debate with regard to curriculum, method and many other things with regard to schooling. There can be substantial differences of opinion between the school administration and parents and these are settled without the student having to suffer. As an aside, I may state that a debate in UK a few years ago was how not to conceal the identity of students who get free meals at school. A seriousness is given to school education as it is an essential part of nation building.

Second, is a judgment by its Nagpur bench indicating that 'Physical relationship based on marriage promise is not rape.' This case is between a 42 year old man and a minor. The story is that after inital rape there was consensusal relationship on the promise of marriage. However, as there was no complaint lodged by the police in the first instance, the judge observed that 'The prolonged sexual relationship, therefore, creates a strong doubt about first act too being forcible.' One fails to see why this repeated act 'consensual or otherwise' between a 42 year old man and a minor girl is not rape. This is travestry of justice.

No comments:

Post a Comment