A 16-year-old is Sent to Jail

A 16-year-old boy was arrested in April 2001 on the charge of creating a pornographic website containing obscene comments about some women teachers and girls of his school, Air Force Bal Bharati in Delhi. When he was released on bail, the school refused to take him back.

A 16-year-old is Sent to Jail

A 16-year-old is Sent to Jail [Illustration by Shinod AP]

The school boy’s arrest case has now become a hot topic of discussion in Delhi’s drawing rooms and public reactions to the incident reported in the media range from complete disagreement with the school’s stand to endorsement.

We present some of the quotable ones:

“Arrest and rustication are too harsh a punishment for a 16-year-old. He should have been made to rub his nose on the ground in the school assembly. That would have been sufficient punishment and deterrent to others.”
– H.D. Shourie, social activist who heads an organisation called Common Cause. The Times of India

“I would categorise what he has done as an abhorrent prank which does not have malicious intent associated with crime.”
– Pavan K. Verma, bureaucrat and author of The Great Indian Middle Class, The Hindustan Times

“The Air Force Bal Bharati cyber case should have been used as a classic case and expert intervention by a team of counsellors sought to find out the motive, inspiration and sources that led the child into this area. But, by handing the case to the police – which has its own ways of dealing with crime – a major opportunity was lost.”
– Vibha Parthasarathi, former principal of Sardar Patel School, Delhi, and chairperson of the National Commission for Women. The Times of India

“If the school had not handed over the child to the police, it would have become a pornographic school. It did the right thing in throwing him out.”
– Simi Verma. The Times of India