In a rare case of time-bound conviction, a government school headmaster was found guilty of sexually abusing 22 girls, including few Dalit girls, and was granted 55-years imprisonment by a special court in Madurai on Tuesday, reports The Times of India.
The accused, S Arockiasamy, is suspected to have sexually abused 91 boys and girls of a school in a village near Madurai. The court has asked him to pay a fine of Rs. 12,32,500 according to The Hindu.
â€śFor a special court for cases of atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, giving 50-plus years of imprisonment to a convict and making the convict pay fine to his victims is a first in the country,â€ť said the public prosecutor P Parimaldevi.
She also alleged that 91 students were sexually abused by the teacher at the government high school in Podhumbu in Madurai district.
Seven years ago, a mother of one of the victims had filed a complaint to the police and then a case wass filed against Arockiasamy and three other teachers. The judge acquitted the other teachers, C Amali Rose, Shanmuga Kumarasamy and Victor who were charged with aiding and abetting the headmaster in the crime. However, the mother is not alive to savour the victory of the verdict, Perimaldevi told ToI.
Arockiasamy was found guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, SCST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Tamil Nadu Women Harassment Act.
The case was taken several times to the Madras High Court to get it transferred to a special court for cases under SC/ST Act. Then, there were problems as the prosecutor was a male and then Jaya Indra Patel was appointed and later Parimaladevi was appointed as the public prosecutor, reported ToI.