The Central Board of Secondary Education has directed disciplinary action against principal of a school which expelled Ruchika Girhotra soon after she complained of molestation by ex-DGP SS Rathore nearly two decades ago, but the school management defended her saying she was "innocent".
The Board has asked the management of Sacred Heart School in Chandigarh to initiate proceedings against principal Sister S Sebestina and other school staff for expelling the 14-year-old for non-payment of fees without intimating her parents about it, sources in the CBSE said, adding an expert committee found that the school had violated "affiliation bylaws".
Ruchika, a budding tennis, was molested by Rathore in 1990 and committed suicide three years later. She was in Class IX when she was expelled. The action could range from censure, suspension, dismissal or compulsory retirement from service.
However, the school management claimed that Ruchika was never expelled but her name was struck off the rolls as she had remained absent for a long duration. "What action are we going to take against her (Principal). We are not going to take any action. She is innocent," Father Thomas, Vicar-General and spokesman of the Chandigarh-Shimla Diocese, which runs the 44-year-old school, said in Chandigarh this evening.
"We have not received any notice from the Central Board of Secondary Education so far," he said responding to a query.
Thomas claimed that there had never been any kind of pressure from Rathore on the school earlier and added the former DGP had not even visited the school.
He claimed that Ruchika had continuously remained absent from the school for three months leading to her name being struck off. "Ruchika was not expelled and there is no proof to suggest that. She herself had stopped coming to the school on her own and her name was struck off the rolls," he said.
He said there was no question of punishing principal Sister Sebestina, who continues to be the principal, when she was not at fault.