A 50-year-old teacher in Kerala’s Kannur was sentenced to 79 years of strict imprisonment for sexually assaulting minor girls at a lower primary school. A fast-track POCSO court that was hearing the case also slapped a fine of up to Rs 2.7 lakh on the accused — 50-year-old Govindan Namboodiri, a maths teacher who sexually assaulted four minors in the school premises. The sentences run concurrently, which means that Namboodiri will spend 20 years in prison.
The Times of India reported that Namboodiri was found guilty in all four cases, and was charged under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. He was found guilty under Section 9(f) (management/staff of an educational institution sexually assaulting a student of the institution), and in three cases, was found guilty under Section 9(I) (committing sexual assault on the child repeatedly) and Section 9(m) (committing sexual assault on a child below 12 years). He was also convicted under the Juvenile Justice Act.
According to reports, the teacher would lure girl students into a classroom on the pretext of helping them solve maths problems, and sexually assault them. He reportedly sexually assaulted five students between 2013 and 2014. Parents said that the matter was escalated to the Head Mistress and the school management, but no action was allegedly taken. The Head Mistress and the person in charge of the school help desk were later named as accused in the case. However, they were both acquitted of charges by the POCSO court.
Earlier in July, a 27-year-old man was sentenced to a cumulative 46 years in prison for raping a 5.5-year-old girl three years ago in Palakkad. In 2019, the man had broken into the girl’s house at night, took her to the fields near her house and committed the offence there. However, as the sentences run concurrently, he will spend 20 years in prison.