More than a year after the rape of a former student of City International School in Wanawadi came to light, the state deputy director of education (DDE, Pune division) has not acted upon the report submitted by Pune Municipal Corporation’s education board for investigating the lapses on part of the school in preventing sexual offences against children. If the DDE acts on this report, the school can be de-recognised. Moreover, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) can also de-affiliate it.

City International School
Bus attendant Khalid Pathan of the City International School was arrested for repeatedly raping the girl

The civic education board’s report, accessed by mid-day, has scathing remarks against the school management for their deliberate attempts to suppress the rape incident and shirking of responsibility by asking the survivor’s parents to cancel her admission.

The report specifically demands that the school be disaffiliated from the CBSE. It also mentions several instances of how the school management tried to suppress the case and even tried to protect the culprit.

However, for the past six months this report is gathering dust at the DDE office, which did not even accept the board’s report citing lack of enough evidence to take action.

The report states: “There are various irregularities observed in the school. This include starting and running some divisions illegally, not forming parent-teachers association, not appointing a separate transport guide in the school. All these lapses are severe and prove the school is not following the norms and conditions of remaining affiliated with the CBSE. Hence the no-objection certificate (NOC, given by the state government) should get cancelled.”

The case and its investigation show the education department’s seriousness in dealing cases of sexual assault on schoolchildren, since besides appointing an inquiry committee and compiling reports, no action has been taken against the school.

The report also mentions how there were variations in statements of school principal, class teacher and school director, and how all of them were reluctant in sharing information regarding the incident. The then school principal, Mausmi Chaudhari, who was suspended, had argued with the committee that “there are 1,400 girl students in the school. How do you expect I keep attention on every girl?”

When contacted, Rajendra Godhane, deputy director of education (Pune division), who is supposed to take action against the school, said that he would look into the matter as he had recently taken charge of the post.

Sultana Mulani, deputy education head of the PMC education board, who had led the investigation committee, said, “We first submitted our report to the deputy directorate office in May 2014. However, they had some queries and sent it to us again, asking us to resubmit the report, which we did in July 2014.”

She added she had no update on what action the deputy directorate took against the school, as the committee’s duty was to submit the report. The deputy directorate office and the education board have locked horns over the current status of the report, as the former is claiming that the board has not submitted the revised report.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior official said, “The file records clearly show that we had asked the education board to re-submit the report by making some clarifications. But till date we have not received any such report on the basis of which we can take any action against the school.”

Bapurao Kale, inspector in charge of Wanawadi police station, said, “The school had promised to give its internal inquiry report against the principal and the trustee within 15 days, but we have not yet received it. We sent them reminder letters repeatedly but they have failed to give it to us. We finally submitted the chargesheet in court.”