Chennai: Holding that an allegation of sexual harassment after five years from girls above 21 years is invalid, the Madras High Court has quashed the detention of a school teacher under the Goondas Act.
A division bench of Justices P N Prakash and R N Manjula gave the ruling while allowing a habeas corpus petition from R Sudha, wife of a school teacher, Rajagopalan on January 7.
Last year, the allegations surfaced against the teacher and it had led to an outrage among people. He was later arrested.
The judges observed that admittedly, the detention order, in this case, was passed based on a solitary case in which a 22-year-old girl, a freelance costume designer, had stated that during 2015-2016, Rajagopalan, who was her commerce teacher, had made sexist remarks on various occasions.
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Thus, it was obvious that the ground case incident was said to have occurred five years ago and on this stale ground, without a live link, the detention order had been passed. It showed non-application of mind.
The detention order also spoke about the misbehavior of the detenu during online classes. A reading of the averments made by the affected girls showed that all of them are 21 years and above like the main complainant and must have obviously passed out of the school and could not have attended the online classes in 2020-2021.
That apart, the reference to the four students giving statements under Section 164 CrPC found no place in the grounds of detention. Their names had also not been given.
Hence, the detention order suffered from the non-application of mind and as well for taking into consideration extraneous materials, the judges said and quashed the detention order.