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- In Pune, 3 Private school teachers have been booked under the Juvenile Justice Act over allegedly beating Class 10 students, and terrorising them to give poor marks in internal assessments.
- Corporal punishment means physical punishment.
- There is no statutory definition of ‘corporal punishment’ for targeting children in Indian law, however, the Right to Education (Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education) Act, 2009 prohibits ‘physical punishment’ and ‘mental harassment’ and makes it a punishable offence.
- Whenever a child faces physical or mental suffering by any person employed by or managing an organisation, the punishment would be imprisonment of up to 5 years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.
- If the child is physically harmed or develops a mental illness/unfit to perform regular tasks, then imprisonment may extend up to 10 years.
- According to the Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools released by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), physical punishment is understood as any action that causes pain, hurt/injury and discomfort to a child, however light.
- Drop boxes are to be placed where the aggrieved person may drop his complaint and anonymity is to be maintained to protect privacy.
- Every school has to form a ‘Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cell’ consisting of two teachers, two parents, one doctor, one lawyer (nominated by DLSA), a counsellor, an independent child rights activist of that area and two senior students from that school. This shall look into complaints of corporal punishments.
- It includes hitting, kicking, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling the hair, boxing ears, smacking, slapping, spanking, hitting with any implement (cane, stick, shoe, chalk, dusters, belt, whip), giving electric shock and so on.
- It also includes making children assume an uncomfortable position (standing on a bench, standing against the wall in a chair-like position, standing with a school bag on head, holding ears through legs, kneeling, and forced ingestion of anything, detention in the classroom, library, toilet or any closed space in the school.
About National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
- The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is a statutory body established under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005.
- It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- Under the act, a Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.
- It aims to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in harmony with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Composition: This commission has a chairperson and six members of which at least two should be women.
- All of them are appointed by the Central Government for 3 years.
- The maximum age to serve in commission is 65 years for Chairman and 60 years for members.
- The salary and allowances payable to, and other terms and conditions of service of, the Chairperson and Members, shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
Functions of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights;
- Examine and review the safeguards provided for the protection of child rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.
- Inquire into child rights violations and recommend initiating proceedings in such cases.
- Examine all factors that curb the enjoyment of rights of children affected by terrorism, communal violence, riots, natural disaster, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, trafficking, maltreatment, torture and exploitation, pornography and prostitution and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
- Look into the matters relating to the children in need of special care and protection including children in distress, marginalized and disadvantaged children, children without families and children of prisoners and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
- Study treaties and other international instruments and undertake periodical review of existing policies, programmes and other activities on child rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation in the best interest of children.
- Undertake and promote research in the field of child rights.
- Spread child rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means.
- Inspect or cause to be inspected any juvenile's custodial home, or any other place of residence or institution meant for children, under the control of the Central Government or any State Government or any other authority.
- Inquire into complaints and take suo moto notice of matter relating to:
- Deprivation and violation of child rights.
- Non-implementation of laws providing for the protection and development of children.
- Non-compliance with policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships and ensuring the welfare of the children and providing relief to such children.
- Such other functions may consider necessary for the promotion of Child Rights.
- The Commission shall not enquire into any matter pending before a State Commission or any other Commission duly constituted under any law for the time being in force.
- Present an annual report to the Central Government and at such other intervals as the Commission may deem fit.
- Compile and analyze data on children.