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Chief Justice Shares He Was Caned In Class 5 And Why He Can’t Forget It



The way people treat children leaves a lasting impact on their minds, said the CJI.

New Delhi:

While corporal punishment is now looked down upon as a cruel method to discipline children, it was very much a reality for generations that did their schooling decades ago. For Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, it wasn’t different either.

Speaking at a seminar on Saturday, he recalled when he was caned at school for a small mistake.

“How you treat children has a deep impact on their minds throughout their life…I will never forget that day in school. I was not a juvenile delinquent when my hands were caned. I was learning craft and didn’t bring the right sized needles to class for the assignment,” he said.

The Chief Justice, who was then in Class 5, said the way people treat children leaves a lasting impact on their minds.

“I still remember that I requested my teacher to cane my bum and not my hand,” he added. Out of shame, he could not tell his parents and had to hide his injured right palm for 10 days.

“The physical wound healed, but left an everlasting imprint on the mind and soul. It is still with me when I do my work. The impact of such travesty on children is so deep,” said the CJI.

The Chief Justice of India shared the incident while speaking at the National Symposium on Juvenile Justice organised by the Supreme Court of Nepal in Kathmandu.

While discussing juvenile justice, we need to recognise the vulnerabilities and unique needs of children embroiled in legal disputes and ensure that our justice systems respond with compassion, rehabilitation and opportunities for reintegration into society, said CJI Chandrachud.

He said it is important to understand the multifaceted nature of adolescence and its interrelationship with various dimensions of the society.

At the seminar, the CJI also mentioned a petition filed in the Supreme Court demanding the termination of pregnancy of a minor rape survivor.

He also talked about the challenges faced by India’s juvenile justice system. A major challenge is inadequate infrastructure and resources, especially in rural areas, which has led to overcrowded and substandard juvenile detention centres, due to which providing proper support to juvenile delinquents and efforts to provide rehabilitation may be hindered, he said.

Social realities must also be considered as many children are pushed into criminal activities by gangs, the CJI said, adding that adolescents with disabilities are also vulnerable – as is seen how visually impaired children are exploited for begging by criminal syndicates in India.

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