Don’t reinstate teachers facing POCSO cases: School education commissioner to officials

Commissioner of School Education Department S. Suresh Kumar has instructed regional joint-directors (RJDs) and district educational officers (DEOs) across the State not to reinstate suspended teachers facing cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act till the completion of the investigation and other disciplinary action against them.

Reviewing pending disciplinary cases against teachers, Mr. Kumar said that in several cases, disciplinary proceedings were pending for over two years, and the teachers either stayed suspended or were reinstated.

He asked RJDs and DEOs to have inquiries conducted by an officer not below the rank of deputy education officer (preferably a woman officer) immediately after receiving the complaint, follow the SOP and guidelines, file criminal cases against such teachers immediately, report the matter to the Sub Collector/RDO and take necessary assistance.

He said a three-member committee should be constituted with officers from school education, women-and-child welfare, revenue and police departments. There should be at least one woman inquiry officer.

The suspects should be suspended immediately. The officers should conclude the disciplinary action against them as per the CCA Rules-1991 without delay and issue orders for reinstatement (if the charges were not proved), subject to condition of the outcome of any POCSO Act case.

He said the disciplinary proceedings should be concluded within six months and any request for extension of suspension period or reinstatement, pending conclusion of disciplinary action, should not be entertained.

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