Taking a tough stand on corporal
punishment and ragging, the government has proposed changes in the law that
would send offenders to up to seven years in jail. The changes will be made to
the Juvenile Justice Act, which is being renamed as the Child Justice (Care,
Protection and Rehabilitation of Children) Act.
This is the first time the
government has defined corporal punishment and ragging in the proposed changes.
For corporal punishment, a jail term of up to a year is being proposed in cases
of simple injury and emotional distress to the child. For subsequent offences,
it would be three years. A second conviction would also mean dismissal from
A five-year imprisonment has been
proposed if a child is grievously hurt or subjected to severe mental trauma. A
repeat of such an offence would invite a seven-year term.
There have been many cases of
Corporal punishment in the country. To put things in perspective, a 2009-10
survey by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights among 6,700
students in seven states saw around 99% of them confirming punishment at the
hands of their teachers.
Tough measures have also been
proposed to check severe ragging — up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine of Rs.
10,000 or both. Ragging by an institution’s staff would put them at the risk of
dismissal and a bar on working with children in the future.
The jail terms proposed are higher
than those under the Indian Penal Code.
[Source: Hindustan Times]