Odisha government to blame for girl student’s suicide: NHRC

The NHRC on Monday issued notice to the Odisha government, holding it responsible for negligence in publishing an erroneous exam result that led to the suicide of a Class 10 girl student.

The National Human Rights Commission asked the Odisha government why it should not recommend payment of Rs.3 lakh as monetary relief to the kin of the girl student, who committed suicide after getting an erroneous result. It gave six weeks’ time to the state government to respond.

In the board exam results, the girl was erroneously shown as failed while she had actually cleared the exam, the NHRC said.

The commission took cognizance of the matter following a complaint that Rasmita Sahu, daughter of Bimsen Sahu of Bhaliabadi village near Khurda town, could not bear the trauma of failing her Class 10 board examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Odisha and committed suicide on May 1, 2014.

However, in the revised result, released on May 2, 2014, she was shown as passed.

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NHRC member Justice D. Murugesan, in the notice issued to the chief secretary, set aside the contention of the state government that the student committed suicide as she apprehended a poor performance.

He observed that the girl committed suicide following negligence of officials of the Board of Secondary Education, which had issued a wrong result only to be corrected subsequently.

Therefore, the state was vicariously liable.

The state government had earlier admitted that the result, published on April 30, 2014, was corrected on May 2, 2014, as there were certain anomalies in the result of the Third Language (Sanskrit/Hindi) for some students.

It had said the first result published by the Board cannot be linked to the death of the student as she scored below average marks in her school examinations and might have been apprehensive of her educational standard.

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