The Rajasthan High Court has allowed a student accused of raping another student at the Institute of Medical Technology and Nursing Education in Jaipur to continue his studies and resume classes at the institute.
He told the court that he had not been allowed to continue his third-year classes because of his “purported suspension”. The Court ruled that since he had been granted bail, they could not curtail his fundamental right to education.
When accepting the plea, Justice Alok Sharma remarked, “A human being has to be given a real chance in life which comes from education, resultant employment and consequent family.” Never mind that family is not actually consequent of education and employment, isn’t the deep paternal care for the young rapist’s future so touching?
Of course, this happens all over the world. Remember when Judge Aaron Persky gave Brock Turner, a Stanford student found guilty of raping an unconscious woman on campus, a six month sentence out of a possible 14 because a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on bright young swimming champion Turner?
The Rajasthan High Court also took note of the fact that the victim herself had failed and was still in the course GNM Part II, and so decided that no embarrassment would arise from the accused attending classes in GNM Part III. It feels like the Court was referring to the victim’s supposed “embarrassment”, and deciding that merely being in different classes would spare her the threat, fear and trauma of seeing her alleged attacker on campus all day.
As infuriating as it is to see the factors the Court has taken into account in allowing this plea, it’s hard to argue with the law as it stands right now. The Right to Education is indeed a fundamental right, and every person is innocent until proven guilty, but does that mean that schools, colleges and universities can never suspend students, even those accused of raping other students?