Kolkata: The Calcutta
High Court Friday issued a contempt notice against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is the chancellor of Visva-Bharati University,
and other officials in the incident where a class 5 student of a
varsity school was asked to lick her urine as punishment for
The direction was given by the bench of Chief Justice J.N. Patel
and Justice Sambudha Chakraborty while hearing a public interest
litigation which claimed that the Visva-Bharati, by inflicting
corporal punishment, has violated the court's earlier directive
against the form of punishment.
"The court has asked me to serve contempt notice to the PM, who is
the chancellor, as well as Vice Chancellor Sushanta Dutta Gupta,
Registrar Mani Mukut Mitra, warden Uma Poddar and West Bengal
Education Secretary Bikram Sen," said Tapas Bhanja, who filed the
The next hearing will be on July 27.
The Calcutta High Court had banned any kind of corporal punishment
in the schools in 2004. In 2009, the Court framed proper
guidelines and said that students should be counselled instead of
being given corporal punishment.
The court earlier had asked the West Bengal government to carry
out wide publicity against corporal punishment in schools. It had
also asked the government to specify its guidelines and take
strict penal actions against erring teachers and schools for
violations of school guidelines.
The incident occurred Saturday evening when Poddar, while on an
inspection, pulled up the girl for bedwetting. She allegedly then
sprinkled salt on the urine and made the girl lick her urine as a
After the girl told her mother about the ordeal, her parents and
several other people stormed the hostel premises and allegedly
Following the incident, the university - located in Birbhum
district - set up a four-member fact-finding committee, headed by
former dean of students' welfare Aruna Mukherjee, to probe the
Acting on the report, the university relieved Poddar of her duty
The incident has attracted severe criticism from all quarters and
also reached the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has
sought detailed reports from the university and the state
Visva-Bharati was founded by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.