South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Abusing a Dalit by his caste in private interaction is not an offence, a Delhi court has said. The court’s observation came while acquitting a principal of a government school of charges of passing some derogatory remarks against his junior, belonging to a Scheduled Caste. To drive home the guilt of the accused , such incidents should happen in full public view, it said.

“The presence of principal (accused) and the teacher (complainant) alone during the dispute resulting in any abuse, insult or humiliation by virtue of caste does not constitute ‘within public view’ within the meaning of Section 3 (i) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Act,” Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma said.

Deepak Singh, working as a teacher at Government Boys Senior Secondary School at Roop Nagar in New Delhi, had accused that Pal Dhama insulted and humiliated him by calling him with the name of his caste.

Later, the accused also abused him for lodging an FIR against him at Roop Nagar police station on May 14, 2007.

The court trashed the allegations that the accused also called him nikamma which also constituted an offence under the Act. “Mere fact that the accused once remarked that complainant was a nikamma is no offence which only mean that the complainant was not taking his teaching assignment seriously and the accused being principal had a duty to remind the complainant to improve his commitment to work,” it said.

The complainant further alleged that the principal allotted him class VI for teaching mathematics despite the fact that he was a teacher of natural science.

“Much grievance is sought to be made by him… but this cannot be accepted in view of the guidelines of the Directorate of Education proved on record that empower the principal of a school to depute a graduate teacher for imparting class in mathematics and science to students up to class VIII,” the court said.