Calcutta High Court: Touching a Student’s Shoulder to Restrain Copying Not Molestation

Oct22,2023 #Calcutta HC #Molestration

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Published on: October 22, 2023 at 18:16 IST

The Calcutta High Court, has made a significant ruling concerning the actions of a teacher in an examination hall. The court stated that touching a student’s shoulder from behind to restrain her from copying in an exam cannot be labeled as misconduct or molestation. This verdict has far-reaching implications and has reinstated a teacher who had faced disciplinary actions.

Background and Court’s Observations

The case in question revolved around a primary school teacher at a Government School who was accused of touching a girl student’s shoulder during an examination. The charge against the teacher was that he had molested the student by physically touching her back, causing unrest among the students.

The disciplinary authority, in a decision dated February 28, 2012, found the teacher guilty of the allegation and imposed a major penalty of dismissal from service. Subsequently, the Appellate Authority upheld the decision, and a review petition was also rejected in August 2018.

Court’s Rationale for Overturning the Decision

The Calcutta High Court, in its judgment, noted several key points. First, it highlighted that the act of touching the student’s shoulder from behind was solely intended to restrain her from copying during the examination. The court emphasized that the student herself did not find this action inappropriate or malicious.

Furthermore, the court found that the penalty imposed on the teacher was disproportionate and lacked legal sanction. It noted that the charge of misconduct was primarily based on the alleged act of molestation, which the court found was not supported by the evidence.

Court’s Response to Legal Arguments

The court also responded to legal arguments made during the case. It acknowledged that in cases like these, judicial review should only occur when the authority has conducted the proceedings inconsistently with the rule of natural justice or violated statutory rules. The court found no evidence of such violations in this case.

Additionally, the court took note of a joint compromise between the petitioner and the student, which the disciplinary authority had refused to accept. The court found that the compromise petition demonstrated the petitioner’s innocence, as the complainant herself stated that she had lodged a false complaint.


The Calcutta High Court’s decision emphasizes that actions taken by teachers to maintain the integrity of examinations should be viewed in the context of their intent. In this case, the teacher’s actions, intended to prevent copying during the exam, were not considered misconduct or molestation.

As a result of this ruling, the court directed the authorities to reinstate the petitioner-teacher with full back wages and other consequential benefits. Additionally, the petitioner was awarded compensation of Rs. 10,000.

This judgment underscores the importance of considering the context and intent of actions when assessing misconduct allegations, particularly in the education sector.

Case Title: Anil Kumar Mridha v. The Union Of India And Others

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