CHENNAI: A division bench of Madras High Court had set aside an order of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) against a Cuddalore-based teacher on charges of verbally harassing a woman teacher by calling out her caste name.
The bench of Justice VM Velumani and Justice R Hemalatha passed the orders on allowing a petition filed by A Sivakumar, assistant teacher, panchayat union elementary school, Edaicheruvai, Cuddalore District.
It was the contention of the petitioner that though he filed a counter statement in April 2022, the same was not taken into consideration by the State Human Rights Commission.
Recording the submissions, the bench noted that the records show that the order by the SHRC was passed only on July 4, 2022, and thus the counter filed by the writ petitioner during April 2022, had not been taken into consideration by the SHRC.
“The recommendations made by the SHRC are set aside. The matter is remitted back to the file of the SHRC for considering the same afresh,” the bench ruled.
The court further restrained the school education department from taking any action against the petitioner until the matter is disposed of on merits by the TN SHRC.
According to the complainant, petitioner defamed/abused her by mentioning her caste and he also came down to the school in an inebriated state. He also segregated the students of the SC/ST section, the complainant stated.
When the complainant approached SHRC, the commission ordered the state to grant Rs.1 lakh as compensation to her. SHRC wanted the government to recover Rs.75000 from the petitioner and Rs.25000 from the government fund for providing this cost. Disciplinary action was also recommended against Sivakumar by the SHRC.